The Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Rwanda, Onesphore Rwaje, has reminded religious leaders to treat their churches as holy places of worship and not self-enriching business ventures.
While addressing over 50 religious leaders at the Democracy and Peace Week dialogue, Rwaje said some members of the public shun going to church due to disappointment of messages relayed.
"Religious leadership is a calling from God and it is about teaching the word of God, but not looking for money from the faithful. There are biblical principles urging churchgoers to give offerings and tithes, but it should not be used as a platform to squeeze money out of believers," Rwaje advised.
He added: "Religious leaders are allowed to have their personal business ventures besides performing their church duties; therefore, they should act faithfully and please God by keeping the two positions independent of each other. They must separate God's work from their personal work".
Sheikh Gahutu Abdul Karim, the Supreme Mufti of Rwanda, joined Archbishop Rwaje in calling for unity amongst religious sects and fostering of peace in the country.
"Some people think that democracy and peace are the duties of the government; this is not true. Mosques and churches can foster democracy, good governance and good politics through what they teach their congregation," Gahutu observed.
"Christians and Muslims are brothers who follow holy books that teach peace, love and respect for human life. Therefore, true peace and harmony can flourish if they teach exactly what the holy books say without diversion."
The dialogue was organised by the Rwanda Governance Board to prepare for this year's World Peace Day, with a set of activities organised by religious sects to sensitise members of the public about their democratic duties.