Presbyterian Church in Rwanda
The Presbyterian Church in Rwanda has around 300'000 followers.
The Church was founded in 1907. This year, Germans from the Bethel Mission accompanied by Tanzanians come to Rwanda. After the departure of the German missionaries at the end of the First World War, they were replaced by Swiss and Belgians and later Dutch missionaries.
Until 1957 the Church activities were concentrated in three main locations: Kirinda, Rubengera and Remera. The Church became independent in 1959 and changed its name to the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda. They abandoned the term "Evangelical" as they did not want to claim to be the one and only evangelical Church of the country. From this moment, the Church focused on expending its presence throughout Rwanda rubengera
Organisation and StructureEdit
The Presbyterian Church in Rwanda was strongly centralized during most of its existence. In 2008, with the decline of foreign contributions, it started an decentralisation process in order to give more responsibility to the parishes and encourage them to be more autonomous and self sufficient. This process is not yet finished as the coaching and support of the parishes is a long and complex task.
The EPR (for the French name "Église Presbyteriénne au Rwanda") is now composed of 7 autonomous presbyteries located all around the country. There still is an office of The General Synod, which acts as the Headquarters of the Church, in Kigali. It is in charge of most of the administration and organisation of the Church.
The 7 Presbyteries listed below have now replaced the 13 old synodal regions that no longer exists. Each of them includes a certain number of Parishes.
- Kigali (33 Parishes)
- Rubengera (34 Parishes)
- Remera (14 Parishes)
- Kirinda (12 Parishes)
- Gisenyi (20 Parishes)
- Gitarama (16 Parishes)
- Zinga (17 Parishes)
Activities and ProgramsEdit
The Presbyterian Church has always been taking care of Education and Healthcare anywhere she was present in the country. It still is today but in collaboration with the State of Rwanda.
It is also involved in environmental protection projects and in the diversification of the knowhow in rural areas. In some regions of Rwanda, agriculture has traditionally always been seen as the only way to make a living. This often lead to over use of soils and ignorance of existing professional alternatives.
The official themes the Church is working on and actively supporting are:
- Community Development
In 1996 the genocide affected the church which lost 16 pastors and lots of its members. Currently it has around 300 000 members, 100 parishes, 81 pastors and 56 evangelists.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-08-08. Retrieved 2012-08-08.