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Province of the Anglican Church of Burundi

Province of the Anglican Church of Burundi
Primate The Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi
Headquarters Bujumbura
Territory Burundi
Members c. 900,000

The Province of the Anglican Church of Burundi is a province of the Anglican Communion, located in East Africa between Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, and the Congo. The Archbishop and Primate of Burundi is Bernard Ntahoturi, also bishop of Matana.


After the first missionary work, the first Anglican structures in Burundi were established around 1935 and grew rapidly. The former Ruanda Mission set up its first mission stations at Buhiga and Matana in 1935, and Buye in 1936. There was much growth through medical work and education. Metropolitcal authority came from the Archbishop of Canterbury until in 1965 the 'Province of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Boga-Zaire' was established, and the first national bishop was consecrated for the Diocese of Buye (covering the whole country).

Following expansion, Uganda became an independent province, leaving the rest of the region as the new Province of Rwanda, Burundi, and Boga-Zaire.[1] In 1975, Buye diocese was divided into two and the Diocese of Bujumbura was created. The Diocese of Gitega came into existence in 1985, followed by the Diocese of Matana in 1990. The most recent diocese to be created was the Diocese of Rumonge, created from the southern part of the Diocese of Bujumbura and comprising around 50 parishes. Their first bishop elected was the Rt. Rev. Pedaculi Birakengana, with the official inauguration of the diocese taking place in 4 August 2013.[2]

In 1992 the three countries of the Province each gained independence under their own individual Metropolitan Archbishop. The Episcopal Church of Burundi had his first Primate in the Most Rev. Samuel Sindamuka, who would be in office until 1998. He was followed by Samuel Ndayisenga, Primate from 1998 to 2005. In Burundi expansion continued, with Makamba diocese established in 1997 and Muyinga in 2005. Finally in 2005 the Province adopted the current name. Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi was elected Primate the same year and reelected in 2010.

Official name

The name of the Province of the Episcopal Church of Burundi changed to the Province of the Anglican Church of Burundi (Province de l’Eglise Anglicane du Burundi) as the result of a decision taken at the Provincial Synod held in Bujumbura, March 2005.


There are approximately 900,000 Anglicans in an estimated population of 6 million in Burundi.


The polity of the Anglican Church of Burundi is Episcopalian church governance, which is the same as other Anglican churches. The church maintains a system of geographical parishes organized into dioceses. The spiritual head of the province is its Archbishop, who is Ordinary of one of the dioceses, Metropolitan of the Province, and Primate. There are currently seven dioceses, each headed by a bishop:

  • Bujumbura
  • Buye
  • Gitega
  • Makamba
  • Matana
  • Muyinga
  • Rumonge

Archbishop of Burundi

The Archbishop of Burundi is both Metropolitan and Primate. The holders of the office have been:

Worship and liturgy

The Anglican Church of Burundi embraces three orders of ministry: deacon, priest, and bishop. A local variant of the Book of Common Prayer is used.

Doctrine and practice

The center of the Anglican Church of Burundi's teaching is the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The basic teachings of the church, or catechism, includes:

The threefold sources of authority in Anglicanism are scripture, tradition, and reason. These three sources uphold and critique each other in a dynamic way. This balance of scripture, tradition and reason is traced to the work of Richard Hooker, a sixteenth-century apologist. In Hooker's model, scripture is the primary means of arriving at doctrine and things stated plainly in scripture are accepted as true. Issues that are ambiguous are determined by tradition, which is checked by reason.[3]

Social issues

The Church's major concerns include peace and reconciliation, repatriation of refugees and displaced people, community development, literacy and education, and fighting AIDS. It is committed to mission and evangelism and is concerned to support theological education and training for ministry.

Ecumenical relations

Unlike many other Anglican churches, the Anglican Church of Burundi is not a member of many ecumenical bodies. The Church is not even a member of the World Council of Churches.[4]

Anglican realignment

The Anglican Church of Burundi is a member of the Global South (Anglican) and has been involved in the Anglican realignment movement. Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi attended GAFCON II, that took place in Nairobi, Kenya, from 21 to 26 October 2013.[5]


Further reading

  • Anglicanism, Neill, Stephen. Harmondsworth, 1965.

External links