Government has granted permission for establishment of the Orthodox Church in Rwanda, among 9 new “faith-based groups” registered.
The ‘Orthodox Church in Rwanda’ registration certificate is published in the latest copy of the National Gazette.
It will be headquartered in Rwamagana district, eastern province, and led by Ugandan national Innocentios Byakatonda.
The official Orthodox designation for the leader is “Metropolitan” and the church will be called “Metropolis of Rwanda and Burundi”, meaning Byakatonda will lead both churches in the two countries.
According to the registration certificate, this Orthodox Church mission is: “To reconcile men with God by proclaiming the good news of salvation according to the holy scriptures, doctrines and holy tradition of the church.”
Rwanda’s Orthodox Church and Burundi’s will lay allegiance to the His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria as current Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa. All fall under the Greek Orthodox Church.
In the same Gazette notice, the other faith-based groups registered are:
- UNITED METHODIST CHURCH RWANDA (UMCR), headquartered in Ngoma district with mission: “To do evangelism and activities of development.”
- MORAVIAN CHURCH IN RWANDA (M.C.R), headquartered in Bugesera district with mission: “To preach the good news of Jesus Christ and to promote social welfare of population especially the poor, widows, orphans, people with disability and all Rwandans in general.”
- PEACE BAPTIST CHURCH (PBC), to be based in Bugesera district, having the mission: “To preach the good news of Jesus Christ and to promote social welfare of population especially the poor, widows, orphans, people with disability and all Rwandans in general.”
- APOSTLES AND PROPHETES CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST (APCCJ), based in Gasabo district, with mission: “To preach the gospel according to the command of Jesus Christ.”
- Congrégation des Soeurs du Divin Zèle au Rwanda, to operate from Huye district, with mission: “To carry its religious vocation by dedicating itself to the service of the church, working for the good and salvation of others through works of evangelization, of piety, of the apostolate and of charity helping either for spiritual or physical needs.”
- Soeurs de l’Enfant Jésus au Rwanda, based in Rwamagana district, having the mission: “To serve the local Catholic Church, to help the poor, youth, orphans and those most in need.”
- Rwanda Christian Revival Church (RCRC), located in Rwamagana district, with mission: “To proclaim the gospel and to participate in development activities and social welfare promotion.”
- All the Bible in Community (ABC), located in Gasabo district, with mission: “To wipe out biblical illiteracy in the Rwandan Church by adding biblical depth to its passionate prayer, worship and preaching.”
As per the law, all faith-based groups are required to be registered with the Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) and have to give regular financial audits to government. There are nearly 800 faith-based groups in the country.