Rwanda: Church to Probe Pastor Sex Claims

By Ignatius Ssuuna And Eugene Mutara
New Times
August 28, 2007

Kigali — Senior leaders from the umbrella of Born-again Christian churches have described the alleged sex scandal in Kigali's Shining Light Church as 'blasphemy'.

Pastor Charles Murenzi, husband and deputy to the church's senior pastor Jolly Murenzi, faces allegations of rape and defilement. His alleged victims are some members of the Gakinjiro-based church. Speaking for the first time since the alleged scandal was first reported last week, the born-again church leaders called for thorough investigations into Murenzi's lifestyle. Pastor Sandrali Sebakara, the Secretary General of Forum for Born-Again Churches of Rwanda (FOBACOR), said he will soon summon other leaders and discuss the allegations.

"I am going to call FOBACOR chairman (Bishop Joshua Masasu of Restoration Church) and invite other religious bodies to meet and look into those accusations," Sebakara said yesterday.

Masasu said that it was still early to apportion blame on Murenzi.He however said that Born-again leaders would condemn the act if proved that the accused pastor committed it. The New Times last Saturday reported that a young girl had accused Pastor Murenzi of having repeatedly harassed her sexually when she was 15 years old. She is now 18 years old.

On Thursday last week, the girl walked to Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID) Headquarters at Kacyiru and recorded a statement.

Efforts to reach Murenzi were futile since last week but his wife, Jolly, has repeatedly described the girl's claims as highly careless and unfounded. New reports indicate that a number of other female church members have similar allegations against Murenzi.Ends


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