Genocide led Fr. Ubald Rugirangoga to begin ministry of forgiveness.
Extreme horror requires extreme forgiveness, Fr. Ubald Rugirangoga once said. He should know.
Fr. Ubald, as he was commonly called, experienced extreme horror firsthand, in his native Rwanda. During the 1994 genocide carried out by the Hutu people against the Tutsi, his own mother and 80 members of his family were slaughtered.
But it was Fr. Ubald’s conviction that forgiveness leads to freedom.
“If you don’t forgive,” he said in a TED talk, “you die. When you don’t forgive, you have a great weight to carry.”
Fr. Rugirangoga, who forgave those who killed his family members, took his message far beyond Rwanda, preaching the power of forgiveness in retreats and conferences worldwide. His ministry came to an end January 7, when he died at the University of Utah Hospital. The cause was fibrotic lung disease as a result of having had COVID-19 last fall, according to his obituary. He was 64.
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