On January 29, 2018, the US-owned and Rwandan based radio station, Amazing Grace FM, became embroiled in scandal. During a radio sermon, local pastor Nicolas Niyibikora spoke out against women as ‘dangerous, evil, and against the plans of God,’ according to Times Live.
Rwanda, a country that has decried the use of divisive and hate-filled radio messaging throughout the country due to the impacts of the radio in the 1994 genocide, sprung into action.
The misogynistic broadcast caused immediate outrage from this equity-focused nation, with the National Women’s Association and the Women’s Journalist Association to the Rwanda Media Commission (RMC) speaking out. RMC chief Edmund Kagire, in a statement on February 12, 2018, during a public hearing for Amazing Grace FM, said ‘The sermon was denigrating women in the most vile manner.’
American owner and evangelist Gregg Schoof, who is no stranger to controversial radio shows, was asked to apologise alongside Niyibikora for the destructive messaging. Though Schoof apologised, Niyibikora was not at the trial nor available for comment and will be likely investigated by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for public incitement. Schoof’s Amazing Grace christian radio station, according to his personal website, broadcasts in five different countries and reaches over 20 million people.
At the conclusion of the trial, Amazing Grace FM was ordered to shut down for three months as of February 13, 2018.