Original Research

Perceptions about civil war in Central Africa: Can war be justified or solve problems?

Kitambala Lumbu, Peet van Dyk, Alta van Dyk
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 30, No 2 | a82 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v30i2.82 | © 2009 Kitambala Lumbu, Peet van Dyk, Alta van Dyk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 July 2009 | Published: 16 December 2009

About the author(s)

Kitambala Lumbu, Unisa, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the
Peet van Dyk, Old Testament and ANES, Unisa, South Africa
Alta van Dyk, Unisa, South Africa

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Civil war and ethnic violence are major problems in Central Africa and have caused the death and displacement of millions of people over the years. The aim of this study was to investigate the perceptions of religious leaders, lecturers and students in theology at various tertiary institutions in Central Africa with regard to civil war in the region. A structured questionnaire was used to investigate participants’ perceptions about and attitudes towards civil war. The questionnaire was completed by 1 364 participants who originated or lived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Rwanda. The results of the study illustrated the severe effect that civil wars had on the participants or their families and further indicated that Rwandans, Tutsis and males were more inclined toward justifying wars and seeing them as solutions for problems. The role of the Church in countering these perceptions is discussed.


Tutsi; Hutu; DRC; Rwanda; the Church


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