Anglicans in Rwanda rejoiced at the unveiling of a new cathedral to serve the Diocese of Gasabo northeast of Kigali. The new building will be known as Holy Trinity Cathedral.

It will be the seat of the Rt. Rev. Laurent Mbanda, archbishop-elect, who takes office on June 10. Gasabo is located near key government offices and up to now the area has not had an Anglican church building. The departing archbishop, the Most Rev. Onesphore Rwaje, dedicated the new cathedral.

There are 11 dioceses in the Church of Rwanda. The East African country won independence from Belgium in 1965. Roman Catholics number just under two-thirds (65%) of the population. There are about a million Anglicans.

The Anglican province traces its origins to English medical missions dating from 1914. Expansion of the church was fueled by the East African Revival of the 1930s and 1940s.The first diocese dates from 1965, after the country became independent from Belgium.

For many years it existed as a single diocese, forming part of what was then the province of Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and Boga Zaire. The church became an independent province in 1992, with seven dioceses.

The 1994 genocide prompted the church to initiate spiritual healing programs for the many thousands of traumatized people.

The Church of Rwanda is part of the GAFCON movement.

John Martin

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