Evangelists Celebrate Three Years of Burundi President

A piece of theatre from Burundi; the Kampala Monitor reports:

Last week, Pastor Robert Kayanja was on a state invitation to preach the gospel and join the President of Burundi, Jean Pierre Nkuruziza [sic], in celebrating three years in power…During the crusade, Pastor Kayanja took time off to join the President and his countrymen in a communal building exercise, which highlighted the unity level of Burundians.

It was a big crusade, attended by thousands, and the first lady opened the ceremony with a passionate prayer…When he came on stage, [the President] sang and danced, jumping around to his favourite songs like Our God is an awesome God as the whole nation followed.

It was amazing to see God performing miracles in people’s lives. Some received their sight back and others walked as Pastor Kayanja prayed for them. When it was time for his departure, the President refused to leave the stadium and just sat back to witness God’s hand in the land.

The Sunday Vision has a slightly different emphasis:

THREE years ago, when Burundi’s president, Pierre Nkurunziza, took over leadership on August 28, 2005, uncertainty prevailed over how long he would last. This was because of the track record of the toppling and assassination of earlier presidents, including Melchoir Ndadaye and Cyprien Ntaryamira.

This explains why each year, the month of August is set aside for public prayers and thanksgiving for peace in Africa’s smallest country, which has Catholic, Pentecostal, Anglican and Orthodox believers.

…President Nkurunziza, an ex-rebel, said it was by divine appointment that he was joining the entire country to celebrate three years of relative peace.

“When given stewardship, there is need to seek God’s assistance for direction since all gifts come from him,” he said.

There seems to be a blurring of thanks for three years of peace and thanks for three years of Nkurunziza’s “divine appointment”. Some problems with political freedom in Burundi are highlighted by Human Rights Watch here.

The Vision notes the presence of some American guests:

Others were pastors Marty Martinez from the Family Worship Centre, Louisiana, US, Dr. Brigitte Kitenge of the African Global Mission, Tennessee, US, and Dr. Steve Ball and Nathan Westfield from Metro Tabernacle Church Chattanooga, Tennessee, US.

The “Family Worship Center”, in Baton Rouge, is better-known as Jimmy Swaggart’s base; Kitenge is a genocide survivor; and Ball is a prosperity gospel evangelist whom I have noted in the past, and who has long-standing links with Kayanja (whom I profiled here).

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