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Verbum et Ecclesia

versão On-line ISSN 2074-7705
versão impressa ISSN 1609-9982

Verbum Eccles. (Online) vol.30 no.2 Pretoria  2009 



Perceptions about civil war in Central Africa: Can war be justified or solve problems?



Kitambala LumbuI; Peet van DykI; Alta van DykII

IDepartment of Old Testament and ANES, University of South Africa, South Africa
IIDepartment of Psychology, University of South Africa, South Africa





Civil war and ethnic violence are major problems in Central Africa and have caused the death and displacement of millions of people over the years. The aim of this study was to investigate the perceptions of religious leaders, lecturers and students in theology at various tertiary institutions in Central Africa with regard to civil war in the region. A structured questionnaire was used to investigate participants' perceptions about and attitudes towards civil war. The questionnaire was completed by 1 364 participants who originated or lived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Rwanda. The results of the study illustrated the severe effect that civil wars had on the participants or their families and further indicated that Rwandans, Tutsis and males were more inclined toward justifying wars and seeing them as solutions for problems. The role of the Church in countering these perceptions is discussed.

Keywords: Tutsi; Hutu; DRC; Rwanda; Church



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Peet van Dyk
Postal address:
Department of Old
Testament and ANES, PO
Box 392
Unisa, 0003
South Africa

Received: 31 July 2009
Accepted: 06 Nov. 2009
Published: 16 Dec. 2009

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