Rwanda religious leaders have pledged to take to the pulpit, the Pan African spirit, so that all believers can be the first to embrace African values, ethics and diversity.
They agree with leaders of the pan African movement – Rwanda chapter that this is the way to go in building a strong African identity.
Religious leaders are part of the ongoing Pan African Week which will culminate into the African Liberation Day on May 25.
On May 23, Muslim and Christian leaders shared their understanding of Pan Africanism, African liberation and the role the church should play to achieve it.
“Africans should breast feed from Jesus directly not through people who claim that they started Gospel in Africa. We already had Almighty God, knew him and praised him perfectly,” Bishop (Rtd) John Rucyahana of Anglican Church and Chairman of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) said.
Bishop Rucyahana made the comment during the official launch of the Pan African exhibition at the Kigali Exhibition Village.
During this event, religious leaders came up with the common denominator for preaching to their followers love for Africa every day.
The leaders decided to establish Pan African teachings in Mosques and churches and to write books that relate God to their life history.
This would impart the pan African sprit among the followers and Muslims.
“Its high time regions started preaching Pan African spirit” Rucyahana added.
“You can’t love God before you love your fellow citizens, for Muslims we believe that love for human beings should be given first choice, this is related to loving fellow Africans and Allah on the other hand,” Sheik Daud Bishokaninkindi Muslim religion preacher in Nyarugegenge district said.
Religious leaders regretted that religions delayed to work with pan Africanists including Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Ahmed Sékou Touré of Guine,Thomas Sankara of Brikinafaso and King Musinga of Rwanda.
Giving an example, Bishop Rucyahana said that Rwanda’s King Yuhi V Musinga loved fellow Africans.
He said Musinga never allowed Rwandans to be enslaved when elsewhere in Africa people were being sold as commodities.
Back to the bible, Rucyahana takes reference of love of one’s people from Moses in the Book of Exodus among others.
“Moses and his descendants fought hard and defended the Promised Land. Similarly, we can’t sit back and watch our resources being taken by other people and later on buy them expensively after value addition,” Rucyahana noted.
Sheik Bishokaninkindi said that Qur’an preaches love to one’s country before extending it to your neighbor.
Meanwhile, the Pan African exhibition which consists of “Made in Africa” products include African technologies, cuisine, literature, apparels to mention but a few.
The African Liberation Day started on May 25, 1963 when thirty-one African Heads of State convened a summit to found the Organization of African Unity (OAU), currently African Union.
They called the day African Freedom Day but it was later renamed African Day.