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The Bishop of Rwanda Hardcover – 27 Apr 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: W Publishing; annotated edition edition (27 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849900522
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849900525
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.7 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,875,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent and informative book that provides and essential and gripping perspective on events that should never be repeated. A book that I found difficult to put down - although the account of events was so harrowing I found I could only take it in short measures. Essential reading for all who want to understand the crisis and how action might best be taken to avoid recurrence in other places.
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Format: Hardcover
Very good service, well packaged and arrived with-in a couple of days of ordering. I would use this surplier again.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My wife loves this book but she never gets around to writing any of these reviews.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x8c1d0240) out of 5 stars 24 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c1d9c84) out of 5 stars Yes, it may break your heart, but it may also restore it. 6 Jun. 2007
By - Published on
Format: Hardcover
If you had mentioned the African nation of Rwanda in conversation several years ago, chances are you'd have received a vacant stare in return. While some people could summon up the memory of some kind of conflict there, not so many could have described the conflict in any detail. Thanks to the 2004 movie Hotel Rwanda, people are a bit more likely to recall the genocide that started in 1994 and claimed the lives of more than a million people. The film, however, is just one part of the story.

THE BISHOP OF RWANDA tells the rest of the story, and it's one that needs to be read and heard and digested and repeated over and over again. Because it's not "just" a story of one nation's experience with inhumanity and brutality and unimaginable horror. It's also a story of widespread political ruthlessness and machinations --- and of personal forgiveness and reconciliation.

Here's a brief refresher. In the spring of 1994, the world began to pay attention to a conflict in Rwanda that had been brewing for some time. In April of that year, the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi were killed in a suspicious plane crash near the airport in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. Fighting between the Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda escalated, but as far as the world was concerned, this was a civil war between rival tribes. (In the interest of full disclosure, I helped cover the aftermath of the conflict for Charisma magazine, and today I blanch at how little we understood the real reasons behind the war --- even though we received the best information available to us at the time, from people on the ground in Rwanda.)

Anglican Bishop John Rucyahana tells a far different story from what we were told in 1994 and the years that followed. The true story is one that began many decades earlier and over the years directly involved Belgium, France, several African nations and the United Nations, and, indirectly, the United States. (President Clinton cited his failure to act on the genocide in Rwanda as his greatest mistake.) Repeated warnings, alarms and cries for help coming out of Rwanda prior to 1994 were routinely --- and worse, flagrantly --- ignored by the world community. When the genocide began, some of the people who had been sounding those alarms were the first to be killed.

On a political level alone, THE BISHOP OF RWANDA is a must-read. The behind-the-scenes but direct involvement of European and African nations in the genocide makes for a compelling lesson in global politics, one that we would all be wise to pay close attention to. Things are not always as they seem; sometimes, they are far worse, as this book reveals.

After reading about the horrors of the killings, which were more brutal, cruel, sadistic and horrific than even Hollywood could portray, and the evil of wanton political corruption --- just when overwhelming despair begins to overtake you, when you're ashamed to be a member of the human race --- Bishop Rucyahana begins painting a picture of Rwanda today. It's a picture of forgiveness and reconciliation that is guaranteed to give you the chills and cause you to blink back the tears. A former refugee who led the protest against the genocide now serves as Rwanda's president and has been instrumental in promoting forgiveness through conferences and government-supported programs. One effort toward fostering reconciliation between Hutus and Tutsis is a truly remarkable program in which perpetrators of the genocide are building houses for the survivors. It's enough to make you want to be a member of the human race once again.

Please don't dismiss this book because you're not necessarily interested in the topic. It's important on so many levels that there's bound to be one that resonates with you. And it's so well-written that you may find it more captivating than you anticipate. Yes, it may break your heart, but it may also restore it.

--- Reviewed by Marcia Ford
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c1d9cd8) out of 5 stars A needed reminder to the Western world 20 Mar. 2007
By Christian Book Previews - Published on
Format: Hardcover
"In 1994, at least one million, one hundred and seventeen thousand innocent people were massacred in a horrible genocide in Rwanda, my homeland in central Africa. We are still finding bodies--buried in pits, dumped in rivers, chopped in pieces." These are words from the introduction of John Rucyahana and James Riordan's book, The Bishop of Rwanda.

In his book, Rucyahana recounts a history of genocide in Rwanda, from its causes to its completion. On its own, it is a thorough examination of the events of the Rwandan genocide, but the author truly makes it a compelling account: he was there. John Rucyahana became the bishop of the Shyira diocese of Rwanda in 1997, serving his term during the violence. He escaped death many times. Friends and members of his family were not so fortunate. Today, he has committed himself to reconciliation within the country of Rwanda and has founded an orphanage dedicated to providing for children orphaned during the genocide there. All things considered, John Rucyahana is more than qualified to write this book.

The Bishop of Rwanda begins with the story of a Rwandan family stricken by violence. This is quite possibly one of the most shocking parts of the book. Rucyahana continues to explain the causes of this violence, as he begs the question: what would turn two peaceful, harmonious peoples against one another? The answer is surprising and outraging. From there, he gives a history of the violence from its rise to its fall. He ends with an explanation of the need for reconciliation and the current efforts toward that end.

Throughout this book, however, the purpose remains the same: to explain how, even through all of this violence, in the end God was glorified. Now that the genocide is over, Rwandans are turning to God as never before.

Due to its subject, The Bishop of Rwanda is a very violent book. All throughout the book there are graphic descriptions of murder and other violent behaviors. Thus, this book should probably not be read by someone under the age of 16. However, the overall message of the book is good, especially considering the current similar situation in Darfur, and I highly recommend it for those 16 and older.

It's always been easy to be complacent. It's even easier today, when much of the world embraces the concepts of freedom and equality. The Bishop of Rwanda gives the Western world a much needed reminder that things like this do happen and need to be stopped. More than that, it gives everyone a reminder that God can turn even a tragedy like genocide into a victory. - Peter Semple, Christian Book
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c1dc12c) out of 5 stars Reconciliation after Genocide 28 Mar. 2007
By Theresa T. Newell - Published on
Format: Hardcover
In 1999 I went to Rwanda and met John Rucyahana, new bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Shyira, in the NE of Rwanda. The fighting was still going on in his area and we traveled everywhere with military escorts. Reading this book brought many memories back to me of those few weeks in the shadow of the three dormant volcanos where the Silverback gorillas call home. The unbelievable massacre of over a million people in the small country in three short months, the departure of any Western help and the devastating horror still shock our sensibilities. Bishop John has told the truth in this book not only of the slaughter of his people but of the more amazing work of reconciliation and healing which is taking place today on the killing fields of Rwanda.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c1dc4f8) out of 5 stars A Compelling Book, an Even More Compelling Author 17 Dec. 2007
By Ryan Burwinkel - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Having been blessed enough to meet with Bishop John twice this year-once in my country and once in his, I can tell you that this man is even more powerful than his account of those tragic events in 1994. He is truly devoted to his work-Reconciliation, as well as his school, which he gave us a tour of. If you want to know what has happened in Rwanda, I would suggest reading this book, along with "Murambi: Book of Bones.", "Shake Hands with the Devil." and "We Wish to Inform You.." for a more complete picture. If you wish to know what is going on right now in Rwanda, Bishop John is a very integral part of that process, and his book is a faithful portrayal of his work.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c1dc5dc) out of 5 stars Compelling subject matter - not such a compelling read 29 May 2007
By AJT - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There is no doubt the content of this book is compelling and necessary. There is also little doubt that the author's heart is deeply engaged in the story of this book. I finished the book with a richer awareness of both the horror of the Rwandan genocide and the work of God in that nation since then.

However it many ways it was a labored read. At times the content is scattered and includes statements that appear factual but seem little supported other than with the author's personal opinion. In addition the style is halting and tiring to read - the influence of James Riordan seems limited.

A useful once-only read but this book is not something I would read more than once and would not on most occasions recommend to the casual reader.
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