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Drake University

Publication Date

Spring 2015

Program Name

Rwanda: Post-Genocide Restoration and Peacebuilding


After the slaughter of over a million Tutsi and moderate Hutu in Rwanda in 1994, God remains an important part in the life of many Rwandans. In this study, 11 Rwandans including survivors, perpetrators, and refugees, were interviewed to provide their perceptions of God before and after the genocide. Through the use of these interviews and various studies on evil, coping, and trauma, this research intends to understand both the shift in belief before to after the genocide and the factors that caused the shift to occur. Informant testimony provides evidence of the way that God and Christian theology has been used as way to cope with the trauma and conflicts of the genocide. The vast majority of informants focused their attention on explaining how God can exist after genocide, rather than actually questioning God’s existence. In that way, the informants have placed a great deal of faith in God’s plan and have used their faith as a powerful tool to continue living and reconciling after the genocide. The study provides a look into the power of religion and God’s ability to heal the wounds of unthinkable trauma and conflict by just being something to believe in.


African Studies | Arts and Humanities | Community-Based Research | Ethics in Religion | Other Religion | Pain Management | Philosophy | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


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