Father Ubald Rugirangonga, a Catholic Church priest known in Rwanda for reconciliation and healing messages has launched a documentary film narrating how his community achieved forgiveness after the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi. Rugirangoga is a survivor.
This documentary entitled ‘Forgiveness the Secret of Peace’, was launched at Mushaka Parish in Rusizi district on November 26th.
The choice of this venue was not a coincidence. It is at this parish where he started reconciling Genocide survivors and the perpetrators in 2009 in a style that would leave Rwandans and foreigners wondering.
After completing reconciliation path that was designed by Fr Rugirangoga, some Genocide survivors accepted to marry the sons and daughters of Genocide perpetrators or vice versa, among other cases.
“While abroad for evangelization mission, I always share the story of how Rwandans are healing because of forgiveness and some people do not trust me because they think that I am playing politics,” said Rugirangoga.
“Once an American delegation of 10 people followed me to Rwanda to verify. When they arrived, they were surprised and they proposed me to do a documentary. I am thankful because the documentary is ready now.”
In this film, Ubald shares his message of forgiveness as a pathway to reconciliation and peace.
He also portrays the hardships of Genocide survivors who suffered a high level of trauma after the tragedy and how they opened up and accepted to share their anguish as a path to healing.
According to Pascal Mugarura, a resident in Mushaka and Christian at the local Catholic Church, this film will change lives for it will speak to many people who are facing the same struggles.
“I believe that through the power of image, the world will learn from us. I am also among the perpetrators who have been forgiven and I shared my story in the film,” he said.
Although the film is in Kinyarwanda with English subtitles, Fr Rugirangoga promised to translate it into many more languages to talk to the world.
For the past 25 years, Father Ubald Rugirangoga has served the Catholic Church in Rwanda. He is attached to Cyangugu Diocese.
During the Genocide, he lost his family including his father. He forgave the killer of his father, paid school fees to his children. One of them is studying Medicine at University of Rwanda.