War and genocide in 1994 left Rwanda in ruins, with 1 million dead and 2 million in exile. Since then, the country has known surprising economic and political stability, and more than a million refugees have returned.
Christians in Rwanda make up almost 90% of the population. In the 90s, the church in Rwanda lost its moral authority because many church leaders were implicated in the genocide and victims died in churches where they expected safety. Since then, churches have played a major role in the reconciliation process and their reputation is gradually recovering.
UGBR continues to recover from the devastation of the genocide and war. The number of staff has grown from only one in 1996 to eight full time staff and now every university in Rwanda has a UGBR group.
UGBR rejoices to see students developing a passion for biblical studies and engaging with their universities, especially in the area of reconciliation and healing. They also thank God for a spirit of cross-cultural mission - a group of students has recently made its first journey to South Sudan. Graduates are also active and committed, providing 70% of the movement’s funds.
View from the inside
Innocent Manirafasha is the Student Ministry Coordinator for UGBR. He says, ‘I want to see this country transformed by the great vision of God – to see the salvation of all nations. For this, I want my life to be used to disciple students. They are the real agents of change for the future of the church and my country. Then Rwanda, as part of the new Israel, will be able to be a blessing to other nations, as God promised to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-4: “all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”’
- for the bible to be an authority in students’ lives, countering false gospels and humanism;
- for UGBR to find ways to address the problem of nominal Christianity prevalent across the country;
- for financial autonomy.