As students enter, have them use markers to write down groups or things that can divide people. For example, cheering for different sports teams, being in cliques or groups at school that don’t typically interact, having different political views, having differing values, etc. If your class is meeting online, you can use a screen-shared document to write students’ ideas.
After students have written down as many things as they can, read them aloud without comment.
It’s easy for things to divide us. As Christians, we need to look for similarities instead of differences in the people we meet and interact with and tear down walls that can be built between people.
In the video clip you are about to see, you will see two groups of people from Rwanda: the Tutsis and the Hutus. Both groups lived in the same country, worked in agriculture, and had some similar Christian beliefs. However, the Tutsis had more economic privilege than the Hutus. This resulted in an extreme conflict between the two groups.
Show the following video clip to your students [3:52]:
What happened in Rwanda’s genocide? – BBC What’s New
- What caused the two groups to finally stop the genocide and bridge unity? (They didn’t bridge the gap towards unity until the Tutsis defeated the government. Over 800,000 lives were lost in the process.)
- Why do you think it’s important to talk about this story over twenty-five years later? (Answers will vary. If we don’t actively take a stand for unity, division and hate will continue to happen.)
- What examples of hatred, rather than unity, can we see in our own culture? (Answers will vary; ask students to be respectful and honoring of others as they share. Answers may include politics, religious division, racial division, gender inequality, etc.)
- What walls do you think could’ve been broken down to prevent the Rwandan genocide? (Answers will vary—for example, fixing economic inequality, unity between the two groups, etc.)
As Christians, we have the opportunity to take a stand against division by choosing unity. We can seek to relate to others and to show them God’s love, even when they are different from us. Today’s lesson is about tearing down walls between people. This isn’t something that is easy to do on our own. We need help from above. Let’s learn more.