Patriarchal visit to Rwanda

Dear Friends of Mission,

We continually praise and give thanks to God for blessing the Orthodox Church of Rwanda with the recent visit of His Beatitude Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa Theodore II, a visit which took place from October 27 to 31, 2022 with the main purpose of inaugurating the first Orthodox Cathedral Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Rwamagana town in Eastern Uganda on October 30, 2022.

It is my honor to express my sincere and deep gratitude to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, for accepting this visit. A debt of gratitude is also owed to His Excellency the Prime Minister of Rwanda Edouard Ngirente, who received Pope and Patriarch Theodore II in his office on October 29, 2022. I thank wholeheartedly all the government officials who played a key role in the preparations and organization of the visit of our Pope and Patriarch.

I would also like to thank all the diplomats who helped in the preparations of this visit and honored the Rwandan Orthodox Church with their presence on the day of the Inauguration ceremony, especially Her Excellency the Ambassador of Egypt to Rwanda and her entourage.

I deeply thank the concelebrating bishops who came from other countries accompanying and assisting His Beatitude our Patriarch and specifically Their Eminences the Metropolitans Ieronymos of Kampala, Hariton of Kananga, and Their Graces the Provincial Bishops Neophytos of Nyeri and Mt Kenya, Surrogate of the Holy Diocese of Eldoret and Northern Kenya, Silvester of Jinja and Nektarios of Gulu.

Many thanks to all the priests, nuns, deacons, sub-deacons and readers of the Holy Metropolis of Burundi and Rwanda and all the Orthodox Mission Workers from abroad who came to participate in this historic event for the Orthodox Church in Rwanda: the inauguration (ceremony)of the first Orthodox Cathedral dedicated to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

I am also grateful to the delegations of the various Christian denominations and religious organizations. Finally, I would like to express my sincere and deep gratitude to the beloved children of the Holy Diocese of Burundi and Rwanda and the numerous friends of the Orthodox Church in Rwanda who rushed to express their love and joy to our beloved Pope and Patriarch, the Father of Peace, and welcomed him to the land of Peace, Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills in the heart of Africa.

May God bless Rwanda, our beloved country, and you all with good health and long life.

       Innocent of Burundi and Rwanda

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