Tuesday, June 05, 2007

There is neither Jew nor Greek,

there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. [Galatians 3:28]

Today, I'd like to call to mind yet more African teenaged martyrs, who courageously witnessed to the truth of the Christian Faith, and lost their lives in that witness.

In 1997, there was a genocidal civil war taking place in Rwanda and Burundi, fueled by long-standing tensions and grievances between the Tutsi and Hutu ethnic groups. On April 30th, the large minor seminary at Bura in Burundi was invaded by approximately 2000 Hutu militiamen, who caught the seminarians in the senior's dormitory unawares, with no chance to flee.

The militia officer ordered the seminarians to sort themselves by their ethnic groups, so the Tutsi could be slaughtered and the Hutu conscripted. And the seminarians refused to sort themselves, asserting that there was neither Hutu nor Tutsi, but all were one in Christ. After many threats would not get the seminarians to separate, the militia officer ordered the slaughter of them all. A few who survived reported that the seminarians were heard forgiving their murderers, and praying fragments of the Psalms, while they were being hacked to death.

So, do please remember the Forty Martyrs of Bura, who died in witness to the unity of all Christians in Christ:
Jean-Thierry Arakaza
Bernard Bahifise
Gilbert Barinakandi
Alain-Basile Bayishemeze
Sébastien Bitangwaniman
Remy Dusabumukama
Robert Dushimirimana
Eloi Gahungu
Léonidas Gatabazi
Willermin Habarugira
Désiré Ndagijimana
Audace Ndayiragije
Pie Ndayitwayeko
Pascal Hakizimana
Joseph Harerimana
Jean-Marie Kanani
Pacifique Kanezere
Adronis Manirakiza
Jules Matore
Longin Mbazumutima
Joseph Muhenegeri
Jimmy-Prudence Murerwa
Emery Ndayumvaneza
Alexis Ndikumana
Boniface Nduwayo
Désiré Nduwimana
Phocas Nibaruta
Prosper Nimubona
Diomède Ninganza
Patrick Nininahazwe
Egide Niyongabo
Prosper Niyongabo
Protais Niyonkuru
Pasteur Niyungeko
Alphonse Ntakiyica
Pierre-Claver Ntungwanayo
Gédéon Ntunzwenimana
Lénine Nzisabira
Oscar Nzisabira
Gabriel Sebahene

All holy martyrs, pray for us.
.

5 comments:

Mimi said...

Indeed, Holy Martyrs, pray for us.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's more important to pray for those who do things for the preservation of all mankind and social justice, not just those who defend one faith.

Kilauea Poetry said...

Wow, that was rude..the title of this posts is what it is. The issue here isn't about social justice or "some other faith". They were asked to separate themselves..instead of claiming a religion or tribe..they died- martyred for trusting the living one who only claimed/demonstrated through His resurrection to have power to deliver us from death - and that is faith- I only pray I would do the same-

Kilauea Poetry said...

Thanks for a great post and bringing this to my attention..though I knew about this war and have read a bit..I had no idea.

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