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Originally published in Creation 21, no 2 (March 1999): 47.
The historical background to the almost unimaginably brutal massacres in Rwanda is, not surprisingly, considerably complex. However, at least one of the factors involved was identified by an authoritative documentary on the subject as evolutionary racism—in this case, promulgated by theistic evolutionism.
Rwanda was officially taken over by Belgium in 1917. There followed a program of intense missionary activity by Belgian Roman Catholics, which established a number of worthwhile social projects. However, one of the legacies of this Belgian state/church alliance was a declaration that one of the tribal groups involved was superior to the others, which were “less evolved.” This social Darwinist concept became “official colonial ideology.”1 Not surprisingly, such ideas generated bitter resentment of one group by another.
As in so many other parts of the world, if people had adhered to the true biblical history of mankind, which indicates that we are all closely related descendants of Noah (see also Acts 17:26), such barbaric ideas as some “races” being more (or less) evolved than others would never have gained ground.