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The population of Rwanda, a small landlocked state in East Africa, is more than 90% Christian and 2%–4% Muslim. Many people simultaneously continue to practice aspects of Rwandan indigenous religion, particularly veneration of ancestors and traditional healing practices. A small percentage of the population observe Kubandwa, the worship of the heroic figures Nyabingi and Lyangombe.

Catholic missionaries arrived in Rwanda in 1900. Focusing on proselytizing the elite, they were highly successful at winning converts and gaining political influence. The missionaries favored the minority Tutsi, who dominated the political system, and their policies helped solidify ethnic identity and consolidate Tutsi power. In the 1950s, however, the missionaries switched sympathy to the Hutu majority. Many people blame the Catholic Church for instigating the 1959 uprising, which drove the ...

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