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Burundi Church Records

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For information about records for non-Christian religions in Burundi, go to the Religious Records page.

Online Resources and Websites[edit | edit source]

Ancestry.com, findmypast.com, and MyHeritage.com can be searched free of charge at your local family history center or the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Religion in Burundi is diverse, with varying estimates. According to a 2008 estimate in CIA Factbook, about 86 percent of the population of Burundi is Christian (62.1% being Roman Catholic, 23.9% being Protestant). The earliest Christian missions arrived in 1879, but the missionaries were killed and the king of Burundi who ruled through 1908 had no interest in foreign theology or imported goods. Larger Christian missions arrived in Burundi in the early 20th century, during its German colonial rule era, and followed by its Belgian colonial rule era. Catholic and Protestant missionaries arrived in the first two decades of the 20th century, while the 1920s saw the arrival of Baptists, the 1930s the arrival of Free Methodists and Anglican missionaries. Initial conversions to Catholicism in Burundi were almost exclusively among the Hutu people – the majority in Burundi but one who neither were the rulers nor were part of economic elite. In contrast, the Protestant missionaries gained early conversions in the elite but minority Tutsi people of Burundi. In the post-colonial contemporary era, the traditional Catholic and Protestant community has been losing members to more emotional Evangelical Protestantism.[1][2]

Information Recorded in the Records[edit | edit source]

Different denominations, different time periods, and practices of different record keepers will effect how much information can be found in the records. This outline will show the types of details which might be found (best case scenario):

Baptisms[edit | edit source]

In Catholic and Anglican records, children were usually baptized a few days after birth, and therefore, the baptism record proves date of birth. Other religions, such as Baptists, baptized at other points in the member's life. Baptism registers might give:

  • baptism date
  • the infant's name
  • parents' names
  • father's occupation
  • status of legitimacy
  • occasionally, names of grandparents
  • names of witnesses or godparents, who may be relatives
  • birth date and place
  • the family's place of residence
  • death information, as an added note or signified by a cross

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Marriage registers can give:

  • the marriage date
  • the names of the bride and groom
  • indicate whether the bride and groom were single or widowed
  • their ages
  • birth dates and places for the bride and groom
  • their residences
  • their occupations
  • birthplaces of the bride and groom
  • parents' names (after 1800)
  • the names of previous spouses and their death dates
  • names of witnesses, who might be relatives.

Burials[edit | edit source]

Burial registers may give:

  • the name of the deceased
  • the date and place of death or burial
  • the deceased's age
  • place of residence
  • cause of death
  • the names of survivors, especially a widow or widower
  • deceased's birth date and place
  • parents' names, or at least the father's name



How to Find Records[edit | edit source]

Digital Copies of Church Records in the FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

Watch for digitized copies of church records to be added to the collection of the FamilySearch Library. Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations. To find records:

a. Click on the records of Burundi.
b. Click on Places within Burundi and a list of towns will appear.
c. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

You will probably need to write to or email the national archives, the diocese, or local parish priests to find records. See French Letter Writing Guide or Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy for help with composing letters. Try using French for Catholic record requests and English for Protestant record requests.

Catholic Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing to a Local Parish[edit | edit source]

To locate the mailing address or e-mail address for a local parish, consult:

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Catholic Church in Burundi is part of the worldwide Catholic Church. There are about four million Catholics - around two thirds of the total population. There are seven dioceses, including two archdioceses.

  • Archdiocese of Bujumbura
    • Diocese of Bubanza
    • Diocese of Bururi
  • Archdiocese of Gitega
    • Diocese of Muyinga
    • Diocese of Ngozi
    • Diocese of Rutana
    • Diocese of Ruyigi[3][4]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Records[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Online church information is available to current members, deceased members, and immediate family members who are still living. Sign in to FamilySearch and then select Family Tree in the drop-down menu.

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Total Church Membership: 730. Congregations: 3.[5]

Anglican (Episcopal) Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

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. 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. There are approximately 900,000 Anglicans in an estimated population of 12 million in Burundi.[6]

Baptist Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Evangelical Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Methodist Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Burundi", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burundi, accessed 21 March 2020.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Burundi", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Burundi, accessed 21 March 2020.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Burundi", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Burundi, accessed 21 March 2020.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Catholic Church in Burundi", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_in_Burundi, accessed 21 March 2020.
  5. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "Facts and Statistics: Burundi, https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/facts-and-statistics/country/Burundi, accessed 21 March 2020.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Province of the Anglican Church of Burundi", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Province_of_the_Anglican_Church_of_Burundi, accessed 21 March 2020.