“Unless the Gospel touches the heart it fails to bring about in-depth change in the person, it is simply superficial and understood only in material terms of prosperity and miracles, a nation can be almost 90% Christian as in the case of Rwanda, with churches overflowing, but at the same time with ruthless men and women ready to kill one another with the machete”: Fr Donald Zagore, a theologian missionary, a member of the Society of African Missions (SMA), told Fides News Agency while reflecting on the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide which falls this year (1994-2019).
“We must acknowledge with humility,” he said, “that the Rwandan genocide revealed the failure of evangelization in Africa. It is the sad reality of a continent profoundly spiritual and religious in form but often far from Jesus Christ in the concrete reality of daily life.
“We as Missionaries of Africa have toiled at length and continue to build places of worship and other constructions when the priority is to build Christian communities. Sadly we must admit, some missionaries came to Africa carrying money instead of the Holy Spirit.”
The missionary concluded: “All too often we think we must build the Church with money, rather than with Holy Spirit. Faith is certainly a gift of God but a gift that must be acquired through conversion. Faith cannot be purchased. In many of our communities Christians initially adhered to the message drawn by the money, the missionaries brought and today by the Gospel of prosperity. Conversion means an encounter with Jesus Christ. The salvation of Africa lies not in the money of the missionaries or the gospel of prosperity but in Jesus Christ. The enormous challenge for missionary activity today in Africa is to lead our Christian communities to an authentic encounter with Jesus Christ.”