Rev. Dr Andre Karamaga eulogised for promoting unity, resilience among churches

It’s a rare thing for a person’s good deeds to be celebrated when they are still alive. But Rev. Dr Andre Karamaga has been one of the few lucky ones to experience this.

His loved ones thought it worthy to praise him while he is still alive, make his deeds known to the public and inspire next generations.  

They did this in a book titled, “Andre Karamaga. Theology of Dignity and Viability of the church in Africa,” which compiles the good works and unique character of Karamaga, and testimonies of several church leaders among others who closely worked with Karamaga. The book is written in English.

Karamaga, who is in retirement, has been eulogised for promoting unity and resilience among churches. He was also praised for playing a big role in the reconciliation journey after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, by encouraging Christians to apologise and forgive, supporting genocide widows and orphans to get access to education and accommodations.  

Also, Karamaga has served in several disciplines in Rwanda, in the region and abroad. He served as a leader of Presbyterian Church in Rwanda, where he initiated life-changing projects and developed church infrastructures.  He was also engaged in the leadership of the Protestants Institute of Arts and Social Science (PIASS) in Butare.  In Kenya, he served as a representative of the All African Conference of churches (AACC).

During an event that launched the book on Tuesday at Isano center in Gikondo, Prof. Tharcisse Gatwa who has coordinated the publication work and encouraged other writers including Prof. Elise Musemakweli and Prof. Simon Dossou to share testimonies about the subject, said that he was motivated by Karamaga’s life of bravery and later decided to compile all his deeds in a book.

At the beginning, the author planned to write the book by himself but later decided to engage other fellows to write testimonial articles about Karamaga.

 “Karamaga is a Rwandan who faced complicated life due to bad leadership, yet by God’s grace he became a very important person whom we praise today. He grew up in a humble family like other children but made a remarkable difference when he opposed any kind of injustice,” the author noted.

About Theology of dignity, Karamaga was said to put more effort in improving people’s welfare and encourage Africans to think big about Christianity in their daily life, adding that church should not be regarded as foreigners’ affairs but a true church which transforms the lives of people.

Gatwa believes the book will help young people learn from elders and also promote a culture of recognition.

Reacting to the book written about him, Karamaga thanked God for it, adding that the church should embrace team work and think about their future and resilience.

Copies of the book are available at Protestants Institute of Arts and Social Science (PIASS), Kigali Public Library, Ikirezi Library and EPR Headquarters. The price for one copy is Rwf 20,000.

Author Gatwa also wrote several books on Christianity in Africa and Rwanda in particular, Church and Ethnicity in Rwanda, Home-grown solutions, among other topics.