St Peter’s Church in Karongi (formerly Kibuye), is a beautiful church at a stunning location, but one with a macabre story to tell. Most of the church and all of the decorations are new, and that is for a reason.
The church was the scene of one of the worst massacres during the 1994 genocide, when more than 11.400 people died in one day.
The church stands among trees on a promontory above the calm blue of Lake Kivu. The Tutsis were sheltering inside when a mob, drunk on banana beer, threw grenades through the doors and windows and then ran in to club and stab to death the people who remained alive. It took about three hours. (Lindsey Hilsum)
After the genocide, the church remained a burned and scarred skeleton for several years, but eventually it was rebuild and redecorated as a tribute to the victims, the survivors and the strength of the human mind. On Sundays, mass is held here again. Descendants of the victims build a genocide memorial in front of the church.