The tragedy of genocide in Rwanda is so bottomless that it is difficult for us to fathom, let alone understand. We never thought we’d live to see in our generation anything remotely similar to the Holocaust of World War II, yet Rwanda has shown us that human beings are still capable of the most violent and hate-filled conduct imaginable.
But as BreakPoint editor and senior writer Catherine Claire Larson explains, this is not the final word in Rwanda. Without distancing herself from the horrors of the genocide there a few years ago, Larson has found genuine sparks of hope in the aftermath there. Prison Fellowship and other ministries have taken up the incredible task of helping people move from their stunned silent outrage into a future that they alone, with God’s help, can create for their children and grandchildren.
I saw the movie that Larson based her book on. The movie, also called As We Forgive, is truly the most unbelievable of experiences, as we see family members of victims forgiving publicly their kinsmen’s murderers.
If you think the victims’ families do it unknowingly, you need to see the film and to read Larson’s book, because both show how incredibly hard it is for these victims’ family to show such Christ-like forgiveness. One older lady showed serious reservation as she approached her family’s former enemy—but then decided to greet him with Christian acceptance.
Of course, a work of the Spirit was needed on the perpetrators, too, and many of them have found their consciences again and reached out for divine forgiveness, helping to rebuild damaged homes of the victims among other fruits of repentance.
Strong stuff this forgiveness but needed in a world like ours. As Larson explains, the rest of the world has lessons to learn from this brave people who have gone through so much yet have allowed Christ in them to help them forgive and move forward.
For more information about Larson and her wonderfully compelling book, check out her website.
“Discourse,” an occasional podcast on BreakPoint, applies a Christian worldview lens to a broad range of issues related to contemporary culture. Stephen Reed, a Centurion in the class of 2008, is a former talk radio host and serves as grants and foundations specialist for PFM. If you see any cultural issues out there you would like to see us address in a future podcast, e-mail Stephen at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Articles on the BreakPoint website are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Chuck Colson or Prison Fellowship. Outside links are for informational purposes and do not necessarily imply endorsement of their content.