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From the ashes of genocide, Islam rises in Rwanda

A handful of Muslims took a stand during the hundred days of slaughter. Their stance inspired thousands of Rwandans to become Muslim in what was once called Africa’s most Catholic country.

“I was a Catholic pastor before genocide,” Matabaro Sulaiman told TRT World on a chilly Thursday night in Kigali, dressed in a flashy purple jilbab – a long loose-fit dress worn by Muslim men.

When the genocide in Rwanda began in 1994, the 49-year-old, suffered a crisis of faith watching the churches, in which he preached peace and unity became slaughterhouses.

“Christians were killing people in the church,” Sulaiman said.

“The [victims] went to churches thinking they will find peace but instead, they were killed.

“Meanwhile, I saw Muslims take people inside the mosque.”

Since the advent of European colonialism in the country in 1884, Roman Catholicism has been the dominant religion in Rwanda.

But in the last 25 years, Islam has become an alternative for thousands of Rwandans who lost their faith in Christianity during the genocide.  Read more

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From the ashes of genocide, Islam rises in Rwanda