“When strangers meet, endless possibilities emerge:
New experiences, new ways of understanding, and new ways of taking action.
When strangers meet, each pays special attention to the other.
Each is called to serve something larger than the self.
Today, this morning, let’s light the chalice:
for willingness to grow,
for rich curiosity,
and for common purpose.”
Reverend Fulgence Ndagijimana
Within the context of extreme civil unrest in Burundi, recently the Unitarian Church of Burundi (the Assemble Unitarien Chretian de Burundi) was attacked and ransacked, withbullets fired into walls and doors and money stolen. Members of the church were questioned by government officials who visited on a Sunday. Two days ago the minister of the church, the Rev. Fulgence Ndagijimana, was arrested from the church at gunpoint, taken into police custody and interrogated severely, regarding the activities of his church. He was threatened with physical harm and death. At the moment he remains in custody, with other members of the church also being questioned. The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists, along with our member groups and partners around the world, is calling upon the Burundian government to cease these activities immediately, which we interpret as persecution for reasons of faith.
Unitarians and Unitarian Universalists in the USA, the United Kingdom, Canada, Romania and beyond are united in solidarity with the Unitarians of Burundi.
Reverend Fulgence Ndagijimana with Arnt Monge. In this photograph Fulgence introduces Arnt to a business person who sells tomatoes through a micro loan program.
We call upon the government of Burundi to immediately cease and desist the persecution of the Unitarian Church of Burundi and its members stemming from reasons of their faith. We call for the immediate release the minister of that congregation, the Rev. Fulgence Ndagijimana, from police custody. Unitarians and Unitarian Universalists around the world stand in solidarity with our siblings in Burundi, who are dedicated as we are to religious freedom, and a civil society in which all persons are respected and valued.
Click here to add your name calling for the immediate release of Rev. Fulgence Ndagijimana. If you're able and willing to donate directly via the International Council of Unitarians in support of Unitarians in Burundi click here.
With love and solidarity.