Two other bloggers, Simeon in the Suburbs and Salty Vicar have noted that a Rwandan Anglican bishop who was visiting St Louis, Missouri recently compared the actions of the ECUSA GC 2003 to the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The original St Louis Post-Dispatch article Rwandan bishop’s visit here underscores division reports that:
The Right Rev. Josias Sendegeya, Anglican bishop of Kibungo, Rwanda, and his wife, Dorothee, were in neighboring Burundi during the genocide that took place in their country 10 years ago. Dorothee’s mother and father, brother, sister and eight nephews and nieces were all murdered by Hutu extremists.
Sendegeya draws a parallel between the atrocities committed in Rwanda in 1994 and what happened to the Episcopal Church USA in 2003, when American bishops consecrated an openly gay man as bishop of New Hampshire. The move was seen as a repudiation to more conservative elements of the global Anglican church who oppose the consecration of homosexuals, and it especially offended Anglican bishops in Africa.
“The Rwandan people know what it is to suffer,” said Sendegeya, speaking in French through a translator on a recent trip to St. Louis. “We experienced genocide and the horror that no one in the world came to help us. What has happened in the Episcopal church feels like a genocide, too. But it is spiritual rather than physical.”
Sendegeya believes that the Anglican diocese of Rwanda has come to the rescue of some conservative Episcopal communities in the United States through one of its arms, called The Anglican Mission in America. In 2000 the Rwandan church began establishing footholds in the United States through its mission by usurping the authority of the local American bishop who was typically considered unsatisfactorily liberal by some conservative congregations in his diocese.
Sendegeya is the provincial secretary of the Rwandan church and was in the U.S. for an Anglican Mission in America conference in South Carolina. He then traveled to Memphis and St. Louis to visit individual churches that are based in the United States but are under the authority of his country’s church.