In Rwanda, after the Genocide (in 1994, in just 100 days, by order of the government, consisting of representatives of the Hutu people, according to various estimates, from 500,000 to 1,100,000 representatives of the Tutsi people died, which amounted to about 20% of the total population of the country, - editor's note) a very noticeable departure of believers from Christian churches began and the number of Muslims also grew very noticeably.
Cause? But because the imams quite consistently tried to resist the massacre and refused to distinguish on a tribal basis.
I will give my hypothesis, but first I will describe what happened to the Christian church in Rwanda during those terrible 3 months of 1994.
I warn you, if you have a weak heart - skip the further description and go straight to my hypothesis.
Rwanda is one of the most Christianized countries in Africa, with a large majority of Catholics.
And so, when it all started, everything split along ethnic lines - Hutu Christians, including the clergy, behaved like Hutus, that is, they slaughtered Tutsis.
But churches have traditionally been sacred places where the victims of the massacre sought refuge in large numbers.
But this time all the barriers were broken and it was in churches and monasteries that the most bloody massacres took place. Some historians believe that there were more murders in churches than in other places.
Sometimes the priests even specifically invited their Tutsi parishioners to the church, and then called the militants from the Interahamwe.
And they were doing their job. The Interahamwe slaughtered old people, children and babies and pregnant women, and then they took a break for prayer.
Altar servers, catechists, and so on often took part in the "work." Before killing, they often raped their victims.
The corpses were then stacked right in the altar.
One priest invited the Tutsis to the temple, locked them up, and then gave the go-ahead to the bulldozer to raze the temple with his co-religionists to the ground.
Subdeacons finished off the survivors with machetes.
The holy sisters from the Benedictine monastery handed over to the Hutu militants thousands of people who were fleeing the massacre in the monastery. On April 22, 1994, five to seven thousand people were killed around the monastery. Of these, about 600 were burned alive in the garage, and the nuns themselves supplied the militants with gasoline. (The abbess was relatively recently convicted; at the trial she did not repent of anything.)
But why did Muslim priests behave differently?
Or is Islam more humane than Christianity?
I think not.
Islam is not more humane, but younger than Christianity.
Christianity IMHO has completely lost its understanding of what "Christendom", "the people of God" and "the brotherhood of believers" are.
And this happened, of course, after the Reformation and the horrors of religious wars.
By the time the Peace of Westphalia was signed, the Europeans realized that it was somehow wrong to cut each other for religious reasons. Yes, and tired of doing it for 100 years in a row.
Therefore, we made a decision - now we will cut each other preferably for national, patriotic and ideological reasons.
As a result, in Christianity, IMHO, barriers completely disappeared, which in the Middle Ages somehow prevented the killing of fellow believers and, in general, barriers against interethnic and interstate hatred. And the European history of the last century fully confirms this sad fact.
And it was this kind of Christianity that the Europeans brought to Africa.
But in Islam, its reformation has not yet happened, and the idea of the unity of the Ummah (the global Muslim community) and the importance of religious differences compared to ethnic ones still resemble the European Middle Ages. (Despite attempts by Atatürk and the Ba'athists to change this paradigm).
But I don't think it will be forever.
Sooner or later, the Egyptians and Tunisians will begin to "reach for the roots", to remember that their "ancestors" were supposedly Thutmose and Hannibals.
Then they will start asking questions about who came to whom and when.
What happened next is well known from the sad history of Europe in the last century.
In the photo: the skulls of the victims of the genocide in the memorial center of the Rwandan city of Nyamata
The opinion of the author may not coincide with the opinion of the editors of Novye Izvestia