The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Churches Donate to Congolese Refugees

NYAMAGABE-The Forum of Christian Churches in Huye District on Thursday donated an assortment of clothes to Congolese refugees currently sheltered at Kigeme Camp in Nyamagabe District.

The forum, which is comprised of 25 denominations, also donated over 3,500 copies of the Bible.

Pastor Herman Gatware of the Pentecostal Church of Rwanda (ADEPR) said that it was the responsibility of Christians to support vulnerable individuals.

"We have been saddened by the conflicts raging in your country. We have been praying for you and your country [to regain peace] but we realised that that was not enough. Material support was also needed," said the cleric.

He promised continued spiritual and material support from the forum.

"We believe this situation will end and you will have the opportunity to return home.

"As Christians, we will keep on praying for you and your country and we will support you in every possible way," he promised.

In an interview with The New Times, the cleric said the exercise to collect the items that began four months ago was a result of collective efforts coupled with existing partnership between the churches.

"When a war erupts, people run for their safety and in such conditions, they cannot carry many items with them," he stated.

"So, we thought these individuals needed our support as Christians. The Bible requires us to support vulnerable individuals. In the Rwandan culture too, supporting the needy is a strong value."

Zipoli Nyiragatete, a representative of the refugees, hailed the forum's kind gesture.

"In these difficult moments, we need the word of God to comfort us. We are happy you thought of giving us copies of the Bible," she said.

The sprawling Kigeme refugee camp that occupies 28 hectares of land is home to over 14,000 Congolese refugees who fled their country following skirmishes that broke out in April between Congolese government soldiers and the M23 rebels.

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