Missionary honoured for saving 3,000 during Rwandan genocide

An Italian missionary priest was among ten people honoured this week for their heroic actions during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, which claimed some 800,000 victims.

Father Mario Falconi, who still works in Rwanda, saved more than 3,000 Tutsis, by hiding in his parish church in Muhura (eastern Rwanda), according to state Radio Rwanda on Monday.

He was  presented with the award in a ceremony organised by Ibuka, an organisation of genocide survivors.

Father Falconi told Radio Rwanda that during the crisis he had refused to be evacuated to Italy because he wanted to remain near the people that he was protecting.

He said: “You recognize me as a hero today but all I know is that I was simply doing what is expected of any Christian. I only protected them from the killers just as Christ protects His Church, and I am glad that the Rwanda Patriotic Front came to our rescue at the right time because the murderers were much closer.”

Source: Radio Rwanda