Jan. 7 Flashback: Killer Christians

Jan. 7 Flashback: Killer Christians January 7, 2022

So it’s 2022 and this here blog started out 20 years ago in 2002. In celebration of all those twos and zeroes — and as a way of ensuring more frequent threads — we’ll be posting On This Day flashbacks throughout the year.

This is from January 7, 2005, “Religious profiling“:

Most people in Rwanda in 1994 were Christians. Most of the victims, as well as most of the killers. Those of us who also call ourselves Christian must somehow account for this.

I can’t help but notice that Ntakirumana’s Adventist church is the same branch of Christianity that gave us the modern heresy of Darbyism and the premillennial dispensationalism and prophecy mania of Darby’s heirs. I have argued previously, many times, that this religious perspective is dangerous and insidious, inspiring a perverse and self-fulfilling hope for cataclysm.

Yet for all that, there is little in Gourevitch’s account that suggests that Pastor Ntakirumana and his countrymen were acting from a particularly religious mania. Despite their nominal Christianity, the driving force behind their participation in Rwanda’s genocide seems rather to have been their embrace of the Hutu Power ideology that seems to have supplanted their faith.

… And yet.

And yet they called themselves Christians. They went to church. They prayed the “Our Father” to our Father. And then they picked up guns, machetes and clubs and killed hundreds of thousands of their brothers and sisters.

Gourevitch writes with a bewildered horror and unblinking honesty because this happened. This happened and yet the world has never really looked at it, has never really accounted for it.

Nor has the church.

Read the whole thing here.

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