Skip to content Skip to cookie consent
Tearfund home

How faith leaders enabled a peaceful election in Burundi

Faith leaders can play a crucial role before and after elections. As ambassadors for peace, they can heal the hurts that divide people and promote unity. 

Written by Rachael Adams | 08 Jan 2021

Faith leaders can play a crucial role before and after elections. As ambassadors for peace, they can heal the hurts that divide people and promote unity. In last year’s election in Burundi, faith leaders were a beacon of hope – showing communities what a peaceful election could look like.

‘Before the 2020 Burundi elections, we organised different workshops with faith leaders to equip and engage them to advocate for free, fair and peaceful elections,’ shares Désiré Majambere, who leads Tearfund’s work in Burundi.

‘Elections in Burundi have often been marred by violence. We wanted to show people there was another way.’

Lighting the way
After the Tearfund-run workshops, faith leaders took the message of peace into their communities. A prayer event was organised for the leaders and candidates of the political parties. Sermons on electoral participation and unity were crafted and delivered. Faith leaders even took to the radio so they could reach even more people.

Whole communities were discipled in peace and reconciliation. And it didn’t stop there. After the election, faith leaders continued to hold people together, and communities remained largely calm and peaceful.

Just the beginning
Tearfund recently invited the faith leaders back for another workshop so the leaders could share how it went, and be inspired to continue the conversation about peace within their communities.

‘It would be good if faith leaders from all over the world and their churches are actively involved in the electoral process: they have a role to play,’ shares Bishop Pontien Ribakare, who attended the training. ‘From my experience, I have realised that people have trust in churches and their leaders regarding peacebuilding. Messages of church leaders are well received, and when different religious denominations work together for the same cause, their message is really powerful.’

‘I believe that church leaders should be present in everyday life, engage and invest in the peaceful processes in their country,’ adds Rev Onesphore Ndayizigamiye. ‘They should not be afraid, but step up, because their role is very important.’

Please pray

    • Lift up faith leaders across Burundi and pray a blessing on them as they continue to share messages of peace.
    • Pray for lasting peace and reconciliation in Burundi.
    • Ask God that even more faith leaders around the world will be inspired to champion peace in their communities.

Written by

Written by  Rachael Adams

Similarly Tagged Content

Share this page

Share this page to spread the word and help support those in need.

Get our email updates

Learn about our work and stay in touch with Tearfund. Hear about our news, activities and appeals by email.

Sign up now - Get our email updates

Cookie preferences

Your privacy and peace of mind are important to us. We are committed to keeping your data safe. We only collect data from people for specific purposes and once that purpose has finished, we won’t hold on to the data.

For further information, including a full list of individual cookies, please see our privacy policy.

  • These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

  • These cookies allow us to measure and improve the performance of our site. All information these cookies collect is anonymous.

  • These allow for a more personalised experience. For example, they can remember the region you are in, as well as your accessibility settings.

  • These cookies help us to make our adverts personalised to you and allow us to measure the effectiveness of our campaigns.