Rwanda: Christians Mark Easter

Thousands of Christians flocked churches on Sunday to mark Easter, with clerics imparting to their respective congregations a message of hope and resurrection after death, should they shun the devil and follow Jesus' way.

Easter is celebrated globally to mark the resurrection of Jesus Christ, three days after He died on the cross, after gruesome torture, according to the scriptures.

In different churches, clerics reflected on the humility that characterised Jesus during his time on earth and the love for mankind for which He was tortured and eventually killed by crucifixion.

They urged Christians to shun the devil and do well as there is life after death.

At Zion Temple Celebration Centre in Kicukiro, the church was full to the brim and Christians shared the Holy Communion in memory of the time Jesus shared bread and wine with disciples before He died.

"Jesus is risen from the dead and He conquered death so that we don't die again but resurrect with Him," said Pastor Emmanuel Gberekpee, from Zion Temple.

He urged the congregation to always do well, and serve Jesus, the King of Kings.

"Jesus resurrected so that you will not die but live, Christians don't die we only sleep and wake up, this is the confidence we have, and this is what makes me hope that we will live a joyful life in heaven," he added.

At Sainte Famille Catholic Church, which is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in the city, Christians were packed and loud speakers were erected outside to allow faithful who braved the rain to listen to the gospel from the parking lot.

In his homily, Father Bernardin Banituze prayed that Easter should serve as a time to reflect on the love and sacrifice Jesus paid on their behalf.

"Let the joy of Easter spread in our hearts, in our families and in our country, Jesus is risen and death is conquered. Let us spread the word of resurrection and the victory of Jesus, and let us do well and hope that our places are secured in eternal life with the King," he said.

Pastor Creophas Barore, who led the international service at the Kicukiro-based ADEPR Pentecostal church, preached about the role of women in evangelism given that they are the ones who first witnessed the resurrection of Jesus.

He said that it was the responsibility of the church to preach the truth and help people repent if it is to fulfill its mandate.

He said that some church leaders have done little to encourage sinners from their congregations to come forth and repent, adding that these are shortcomings they will be held accountable for on Judgement Day.

Christians also weighed in, saying that Easter and Lent that precedes it, is time to reflect on the love by Jesus to the world.

"I am thankful that Jesus paid the price and died on my behalf but resurrected, I commit to do well and avoid sin with hope that I will see Him in eternal life," said Erenestine Mukakarisa, who prayed from Saint Michel Cathedral in Kigali.

"Easter and the Holy Week before it serve as an opportunity to think about the love of Jesus and recommit to serve Him wholly and to pray to Him to be with us and send us the Holy Spirit to help us conquer fear and death," she added.

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