On Tuesday, August 25, a Rwandan pastor, Salim Mikdad, conducted what is arguably the largest conversion of Christians to Islam after he successfully got all 480 members of his congregation to switch faiths, Africa Metro reports.
One of the church members revealed that they all turned up for a church service only to be forced to convert to Islam by their pastor. Mikdad also got the church converted into a mosque during the conversion ceremony. It is reported that an Islamic cleric had preached to Pastor Mikdad and succeeded in converting him to Islam.
According to Africa Metro, Rwanda is a predominantly Christian country but of late, 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, most of them being Sunni.
Islam started growing in Rwanda after the country's 1994 genocide as both Catholic and Protestant churches helped to make the killing of about 800,000 people possible by giving moral sanction to the murders. Churches have longed played ethnic politics themselves, favouring 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.