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In 1994, the Rwandan genocide shook the world with images of brutality, as ethnic tensions flared into a frenzy of violence. In just over three months, an estimated 1 million ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were murdered. 14 years later, Rwandans say there is only one way to move past the horrors of genocide: FORGIVENESS. 

Outside of Rwanda, many people wonder how it is possible for Rwandans to forgive one another for the brutal bloodshed that took place.

In Mustafa Uwihorewe’s own words, "In the past years, the government taught us to hate one another, to kill one another," he said. "Nowadays, they're trying to educate us. We're one people. We were fighting for nothing."

Ambassador Richard Sezibera credits a regime change for the progress. "Rwandans have rehabilitated and reconstructed their country. They're involved in a process of national reconciliation. I think the key has been leadership; people-centered, people-conscious
leadership that is determined to learn from history but not be tied down by that history."

Of course, no steps could be taken without forgiveness. "We have no choice but to forgive one another. We have no choice but to forgive if we want to live together peacefully."
-Josephine Uzayisengo, genocide survivor

Consolee Katsenjerwa, genocide survivor, lost most of her family in 1994. She says her personal motto is a phrase that has great meaning for many here. "We have to forgive but we can't forget."

He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats or harps on a matter separates even close friends. Proverbs 17: 9

If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7: 14

For if you forgive people their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6: 14

For I will be merciful and gracious toward their sins and I will remember their deeds of unrighteousness no more.
Hebrews 8: 12