(ACNS) The Archbishop of the Province of the Anglican Church of Burundi, the Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi, and the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Rwanda, the Most Rev. Onesphore Rwaje, have co-hosted an interdenominational conference for Church leaders in collaboration with UNAIDS and Tearfund in Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura, to consider the role of the Church in the fight against sexual violence in Burundi and Rwanda.
In March 2011 the Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi, along with the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Congo, was present at the launch at Lambeth Palace of the ”˜We Will Speak Out’ coalition, initially comprising the Anglican Communion, Tearfund, Christian Aid, and Restored. The coalition was established to urge the Church to speak out against sexual violence and came about as a response to the findings in Tearfund’s research report, ”˜Silent No More’, which documented the role of the church in response to sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Liberia, with some later study in Burundi. It concluded that the Church had largely failed to respond adequately to sexual violence and had sometimes been unintentionally instrumental in marginalising those who have experienced its devastating consequences.