JNN 03 Aug 2015 Kigali : In one of the largest reversion cases of Christians to Islam, a Rwandan pastor and his entire 480-member congregation have reverted to Islam, as the world fastest growing religion expands its presence in the African continent.
According to several media reports, Salim Mikdad, a former pastor, reverted to Islam after being convinced into it by Muslim scholars, Nigeria Watch reported.
Later on, he managed to convince his entire 480-member congregation to take a similar decision last August 25.
After switching their faith, the church was turned into a mosque.
The latest incident comes amid a series of similar conversions in Rwanda.
Being a predominantly Christian country, Rwanda has seen a gradual rise in its Muslim population.
About 56.9% of Rwandans are Roman Catholic, 26% are Protestant, 11.1% are Seventh day Adventist and only 4.6% are Muslim, Majority of which are Sunni.
The sharp rise in Muslim population followed the country’s 1994 genocide when both Catholic and Protestant churches were accused of helping to make the killing of about 800,000 people possible by giving moral sanction to the murders.
Churches have longed played ethnic politics themselves, favoring the Tutsi during the colonial period then switching allegiance to the Hutu after 1959, sending a message that ethnic discrimination was consistent with church teaching.
Between April and July 1994, Rwanda’s Hutu extremists conducted an organized campaign aimed at wiping out the Tutsi minority.
Human Rights Watch has described the Rwandan genocide as “one of the most terrifying episodes of targeted ethnic violence in recent world history.”