Persecution of Ex-Muslims (Somalia)
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College student who converted to Christianity is shot and killed for refusing to join crowds chanting verses from Qur'an during lunar eclipse
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The group reports that in July there were unconfirmed reports three Christians had been shot and killed by Islamists as they returned home from a prayer meeting.
In October 2005, an evangelist and house church leader, Osman Sheik Ahmed, was shot dead by Islamist radicals, Barnabas said. Also, children of Christian Somali refugees in Kenya have been kidnapped by Muslim relatives and taken to Islamic institutions in Somalia for 'rehabilitation.'"
The Barnabas Fund pointed out the leader of the Union of Islamic Courts, Hassan Dahir Aweys, promised to implement Sharia, or Islamic law, in all areas he controls.According to Sharia, the group explained, apostates – those who leave Islam for another religion – must be killed. Union of Islamic Court leaders even have threatened to kill as apostates Muslims who are lax in their prayers, claiming this is commanded by Sharia. Several Muslims have been flogged publicly for drug-related offences since the union took control.
Michael Ireland, Assist News Service, September 16, 2006
British teacher who converted from Islam to Christianity is shot dead by militant Muslims who "believe it is ok to kill any man who was born into Islam and left the faith"
He was murdered alongside fellow Brit Rehena Ahmed, aged 32 and two Kentan teachers in a raid by al Shahaab militants.
The 64-year-old dad-of-two, the son of poor nomads from Beledweyne, had moved to Britain in 1967 after winning a scholarship to study.
He worked as a teacher and later as an educational psychologist for Birmingham City Council.
He made regular trips back to Somalia and in 2004 decided to brave the dangers of his homeland and returned to Beledweyne to set up the school.
Mrs Ali, aged 64, said: "The school he established is run in a house which is also where he lived.
"There are various disgruntled factions running around and because he was a convert to Christianity from Islam, then he was a target.
"They raided the house in the middle of the night and murdered all four people there."
"I will continue to pray for the people of Somalia and eventually some good may come out of this."
His son Robleh Tinning, aged 32, said: "He wasn't trying to convert anyone, he was just trying to teach English. He always had a grand project on the go.
"If something needs doing, someone has to stand up and say they are going to do it and that is what he did. He was a doer, not a moaner."Mr Ali kept a blog on the development of the school and had detailed his fears about night-time raids by militants.
But it's too easy to say this is just a cultural problem. Dig a little deeper and you find that there is a theological argument which advocates the death penalty for apostates, which has serious implications for British society.
Last week, British teacher Daud Hassan Ali, 64, was shot dead in Somalia. His widow, Margaret Ali, said her husband was targeted by Islamists who "believe it is ok to kill any man who was born into Islam and left the faith".
Those renouncing their faith for atheism or agnosticism are viewed in a similar way to those who adopt another faith.A poll conducted by the Policy Exchange last year suggested that over a third of young British Muslims believe that the death penalty should apply for apostasy.
Aid worker beheaded in front of a crowd to chants of “Allah Akbar” for converting from Islam to Christianity
Muslim extremists from the al Shabab group fighting the transitional government on Sept. 23 sliced the head off of Mansuur Mohammed, 25, a World Food Program (WFP) worker, before horrified onlookers of Manyafulka village, 10 kilometers (six miles) from Baidoa.
The militants had intercepted Mohammed and a WFP driver, who managed to escape, earlier in the morning. Sources close to Mohammed’s family said he converted from Islam to Christianity in 2005.
The eyewitness, who requested anonymity for security reasons, said the militants that afternoon gathered the villagers of Manyafulka, telling them that they would prepare a feast for them. The people gathered anticipating the slaughter of a sheep, goat or camel according to local custom.
Five masked men emerged carrying guns, wielding Somali swords and dragging the handcuffed Mohammed. One pulled back Mohammed’s head, exposing his face as he scraped his sword against his short hair as if to sharpen it. Another recited the Quran as he proclaimed that Mohammed was a “murtid,” an Arabic term for one who converts from Islam to Christianity. The Muslim militant announced that Mohammed was an infidel and a spy for occupying Ethiopian soldiers.
Mohammed remained calm with an expressionless face, never uttering a word, said the eyewitness. As the chanting of “Allah Akubar [God is greater]” rose to a crescendo, one of the militiamen twisted his head, allowing the other to slit his neck. When the head was finally severed from the torso, the killers cheered as they displayed it to the petrified crowd.
The militants allowed one of their accomplices to take a video of the slaughter using a mobile phone. The video was later circulated secretly and sold in Somalia and in neighboring countries in what many see as a strategy to instill fear among those contemplating conversion from Islam to Christianity.Unconfirmed reports indicated that a similar incident took place in Lower Juba province of Somalia in July, when Christians found with Bibles were publicly executed. Their families fled to Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, and such killings are forcing other Christians to flee to neighboring Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti.
Compass Direct, October 28, 2008
Christian convert shot and forced to pay US$266 by a camp “court” for his conversion "dishonoring Islam". Muslim gangs raping and killing converts, denying them access to water and burning their homes
But for Salat Sekondo Mberwa of Mogadishu, the war-torn capital of Somalia, this was not the highest price he has had to pay for leaving Islam. A few weeks ago Muslim zealots shot Mberwa in the shoulder and left him for dead, and he and other refugees told of hired Muslim gangs in Somalia raping and killing converts, denying them access to water and, in the refugee camp, burning their homes.
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They arrested Mberwa and detained him at a camp police cell. After his release, Mberwa said, he was resting inside his house on Nov. 26 at around 6 p.m. when he heard people shouting his name and swearing to “teach him a lesson” for embarrassing them by having left Islam. Once again he decided to lock himself in, and as before the attackers forced their way in.
“I was trying to escape through the window when one of them fired a gun, but the bullet narrowly missed me,” he told Compass. “Then I heard another gun fire, and I felt a sharp pain on my left shoulder. I fell down. Thinking that I was dead, they left.” immediately arrived and gave first aid to the bleeding Mberwa. They arranged treatment for him in Mogadishu, after which he was relocated to Dadaab for recovery.The officer in charge of Dadaab refugee camp, Omar Dadho, told Compass that authorities were doing their best to safeguard freedom of worship. “We cannot guarantee the security of the minority Christians among a Muslim-dominated population totaling more than 99 percent,” Dadho said. “But we are doing our best to safeguard their freedom of worship. Their leader, Salat, should visit our office so that their matter and complaints can be looked at critically, as well as to try to look for a long-lasting solution.”
Simba Tian, Compass Direct, December 11, 2008
Immigration officials beat and verbally abuse "pagan" pastor for carrying Christian literature and threaten to kill him unless he returns to Islam. His money and possessions are 'confiscated'
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When he arrived by car at the border crossing of Wajaale on Feb. 19 with all legal travel documents, his Bible and other Christian literature landed him in unexpected trouble with Somaliland immigration officials.
"I was beaten up for being in possession of Christian materials," Welli told Compass. "They threatened to kill me if I did not renounce my faith, but I refused to their face. They were inhuman."
Welli said the chief border official in Wajaale, whom he could identify only by his surname of Jama, took charge of most of the torturing. Welli said their threats were heart-numbing as they struggled to subdue him, with Jama and others saying they had killed two Somali Christians and would do the same to him.
His pleas that he was a Kenyan whose faith was respected in his home country, he said, fell on deaf ears.
"I was abused, and they also abused my faith as the religion for pagans, which they said is unacceptable in their region," he said. "I told them that I am Kenyan-born and brought up in Kenya, and my Christian faith is respected and recognized in Garissa."Jama ordered Welli's incarceration, and he was locked up in an immigration cell for nine hours. The officials took from his bag three CDs containing his personal credentials and Christian educational literature. They also took his English Bible, two Christian books and US$400, he said.
Compass Direct, May 8, 2009
Seven prisoners accused of abandoning the Muslim faith and being spies are beheaded. Sisters and wives attend police station to collect mutilated bodies
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The victims' frightened, weeping sisters and wives arrived at the police station in Baidoa on Friday to collect the mutilated bodies.
A woman named Miriam, who asked that her last name be withheld to protect her from reprisals, sobbed as she said in a telephone call that four bodies, including her husband's, had been brought to the police station. The location of the other three was unclear.
Hawa, who also wanted her full name withheld, was at the police station with six other families who had been informed a relative had been executed. She told The Associated Press that her brother had been missing for about 20 days after being abducted from his house by masked men, and that she had just been informed that he had been beheaded.Al-Shabab militia officials told her that the seven had been accused of either renouncing the Islamic religion or spying for the government, she said.
Associated Press, July 10, 2009
Converted church leader hunted down and shot dead, and Christian mother and daughter raped and held captive for five days
The sources told Compass that Abdiraman was the leader of an underground “cell group” of Christians in Somalia.
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The militants reportedly beheaded seven Christians on July 10, and refugees from Somalia tell of other attacks. One refugee last year recounted an attack in Lower Juba, Somalia. Binti Ali Bilal, the 40-year-old mother of 10 children, was fetching firewood with her 23-year-old daughter, Asha Ibrahim Abdalla in April 2008 in an area called Yontoy when al Shabaab members and Muslim neighbors approached them. Yontoy is 25 kilometers (15 miles) from Kismayo.
For some time the local community had suspected that she and her family were Christians, Bilal told Compass. The group asked the women if they were Christians, and when they said they were, the group began beating her and her daughter, who was six months pregnant, Bilal said.After raping them and holding them captive for five days, the Muslim extremists left them for dead, she said, and her husband found them. The baby born to her daughter, she told Compass, suffers from diseases related to the prenatal trauma.
Compass Direct, July 20, 2009
4 ex-Muslim Christian orphanage workers kidnapped and beheaded because they declined "generous offer" to return to Islam. Families of victims are denied their bodies "as Somalia does not have cemeteries for infidels"
On August 4, a junior Al-Shabab militant notified all the families of the victims that the four Christians had been beheaded for apostasy. He described the Christians as promoters of "fitna," a Muslim term for religious discord. The militant, who called himself "Seiful Islam" ("the Sword of Islam"), told the families that the bodies will not be given to them "as Somalia does not have cemeteries for infidels."
One eye witness account said, "All the four apostates were given an opportunity to return to Islam to be released but they all declined the generous offer."The four Christians had been working for a local NGO that helps orphans in southern Somalia.
AINA, August 11, 2009
Monitored for not attending mosque, a convert from Islam to Christianity is shot dead near the Kenyan border
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“Al Shabaab rebels killed 41-year-old Ahmed Matan in Bulahawa, Somalia, according to Abdikadir Abdi Ismael, a former leader of a secret Christian fellowship in Somalia to which Matan belonged. Matan had been a member of the underground church since 2001. The early morning shooting comes at a time when Islamist groups led by al Shabaab are hunting down converts to Christianity as they seek to establish sharia (Islamic law) throughout Somalia.Ismael, who fled the area in 2005, said he received a telephone call from Matan two weeks ago in which the convert told him that monitoring by the Islamic extremists kept him from leaving his home and carrying out his small-trade business across the border in Mandera, in eastern Kenya. ‘I am afraid for my life — the al Shabaab want to get a proof that I follow the Christian faith,’ Matan told Ismael. ‘They have not been seeing me in the mosque and seem to have realized that I am not part of them.’”
Compass Direct, August 22, 2009
Muslims gun down converted church leader, as he leaves a worship service. Widow and daughter are now in hiding. 15th Christian leader killed in one year
ICC's Regional Manager for Africa and South Asia Jonathan Racho says Pastor Ali died of his injuries. "This is very sad news because this year alone, Ali is the 15th Christian to be killed by Islamic extremists in Somalia."According to ICC, Ali converted from Islam to Christianity in 1999 while working in Somalia's capital as a linguist. In 2002, he started pastoring an underground house church. He is survived by his wife and a daughter who are now in hiding fearing for their lives.
Christian Telegraph, November 18, 2009
Muslims beat and torture convert before executing him with 2 gunshots to the head. His remains have no front teeth and broken fingers
“Our brother Yusuf has been murdered,” the source told Compass. “His body was dumped in Yaqshid district of Mogadishu, and his body is said to be on an empty residential street.”
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Before Yusuf was executed by two shots to the head, reports filtered in to the Compass source that he had been badly beaten and his fingers broken as the Islamists tried to extract incriminating evidence against him and information about other Christians. The source later learned that Yusuf’s body showed signs of torture; all of his front teeth were gone, and some of his fingers were broken, he said.
Compass Direct, November 23, 2009
Christian convert from Islam killed in soccer stadium because his apostasy "insulted the prophet". The execution was attended by hundreds of people, including school children who were forced to watch
ICC said a fellow passenger recognized Idiris’ “Christian background” and asked him if he thought the prophet Muhammad was a genuine messenger from God. Idiris responded by saying, “If I thought so, I would have believed in him instead of the Messiah.”
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ICC said that Sheik Adan Yare, the Al-Shabab governor of the Bakol region, spoke to the press on July 1 and said, “Our holy warriors have today, on July 1st at 11: 45 am, executed in front of angry Muslim witnesses a young man whose name was Muhammad Guul Hashim Idiris who insulted our beloved prophet.”
Jeremy Reynalds, ASSIST News, July 7, 2010
Muslims kidnap 15-year-old Christian girl as punishment for her parents apostasy
Ghelle Hassan Aded told Compass that he has not seen his 15-year-old daughter, Anab Ghelle Hassan, since Islamic extremists from the al Shabaab (“the Youth”) insurgency kidnapped her on Feb. 15. Certain that the militants would come after the rest of the family, they immediately fled, said Aded, who spoke with Compass from an undisclosed location in Somalia’s autonomous region of Puntland.
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The al Shabaab insurgents fighting the Transitional Federal Government soon began monitoring the family’s activities. Aded said they took note that the family did not attend mosque, and on several occasions the insurgents or other Muslims questioned him. In Somalia, Christians hold small meetings in secret and are advised not to keep Bibles or other Christian literature at their homes; they often have to keep them buried in a hole.
On Feb. 15, Aded and his wife sent young Hassan to the market to buy food, he said; relatives told them later that day that they saw al Shabaab insurgents kidnap her at 10 a.m. as she was going about her business at the local market. Knowing that the insurgents would soon come after the rest of his family, Aded said, he fled immediately with his wife, 11-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son to Puntland.At their location in Puntland, the family appeared devastated by the kidnapping, with Aded’s wife often weeping over the loss, but they said they maintain hope of seeing Anab again.
Compass Direct, October 6, 2010
Teenage Christian girl tortured, force-fed medication, and shackled to a tree by her Muslim parents, later shot dead by relatives for leaving Islam
Nurta Mohamed Farah, who had fled her village of Bardher, Gedo Region to Galgadud Region to live with relatives after her parents tortured her for leaving Islam, died on Nov. 25. Area sources said they strongly suspected that the two unidentified men in Galgadud Region who shot her in the chest and head with a pistol were relatives or acting on their behest.
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Relatives buried Farah, sources said. Her parents had severely beaten her for leaving Islam and regularly shackled her to a tree at their home, Christian sources said. She had been confined to her home in Gedo region in southern Somalia since May 10, when her family found out that she had embraced Christianity, said a Christian leader who visited the area (see “Family of 17-Year-Old Somali Girl Abuses Her for Leaving Islam,” June 15).
Her parents also took her to a doctor who prescribed medication for a “mental illness,” he said. Alarmed by her determination to keep her faith, her father, Hassan Kafi Ilmi, and mother, Hawo Godane Haf, decided she had gone crazy and forced her to take the prescribed medication, but it had no effect in swaying her from her faith, the source said.
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Compass Direct, December 3, 2010
Mother of 4 suffers a slow death as she is dragged out of her home in front of villagers and has her throat slit by Qur'an-waving Islamists for converting to Christianity
The 36 year old Asha Mberwa was a mother of four and she had committed no crime and had harmed nobody. However, Mohammed supported the killing of apostates therefore the Al-Shabaab killed the Muslim convert to Christianity in order to appease the Islamic god.
In true Islamic justice an innocent convert to Christianity was killed in cold blood and bystanders were forced to watch while her throat was being cut. Her death, like so many other Christian martyrs in Somalia, is a witness to the reality of Islamic Sharia law and the brutal teachings of Mohammed. Therefore, the Islamic inquisition is in full swing in Somalia and Christians are being hunted down and killed.
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Asha Mberwa is the latest Christian martyr in Somalia to be killed by the followers of Islam who follow Islamic Sharia law, the teachings of the Koran and the Hadiths. This innocent Christian lady was killed by Muslims reciting the Koran and her death was slow and with the knowledge that the same Islamic fanatics would try to find her children and indoctrinate them.
Lee Jay Walker, AINA, January 20, 2011
Muslim convert to Christianity is kidnapped, blindfolded, imprisoned and tortured after Bible pages are found in his home. He is beaten with wooden batons and told he is going to be executed, but manages to flee
"They ransacked my house, searched my bag, and found several pages from a Bible," he told CBN News. "They had crosses on them."
Abdi was taken away, imprisoned, and tortured.
"I was blindfolded and they put me in a dark, underground cell. They beat me up with a wooden baton," he explained.
"They wanted to know where I got the Bible pages and if I knew of any others like me," he continued. "When they finally took the blindfold off, I noticed three dead bodies in the room. They placed them there just to frighten me."
Abdi's torturers said they were going to kill him. But late one night, he and two cellmates made a daring escape.
"The guards thought they had locked our cell door, but it wasn't locked. We opened it, ran to the wall, and started climbing," Abdi recalled. "The guards opened fire on us. Bullets killed one of my cellmates, but the other prisoner and I jumped over the wall."
Abdi reunited with his family and is now living in a safe place. He said he still suffers physical pain from the torture he endured. But spiritually, he said he feels closer to God."I was happy to go through all this because now I am stronger spiritually," Abdi said. "People prayed for me to escape. Their prayers are what saved my life."
Gary Lane, CBN News, April 13, 2012
21-year-old convert to Christianity dragged out of his house and shot to death by two Muslims as part of a campaign to rid the country of Christianity
An area source told Compass two al Shabaab militants shot 21-year-old Hassan Adawe Adan in Shalambod town after entering his house at 7:30 p.m.
“Two al Shabaab members dragged him out of his house, and after 10 minutes they fired several shots on him,” said an area source who requested anonymity. “He then died immediately.”
The militants then shouted “Allahu Akbar [God is greater]” before fleeing, he said.
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Compass Direct, April 21, 2011
Muslims kidnap Christian convert from Islam, behead him, then dump his headless corpse on the street. Body left to rot for two days in the open as locals feared Islamic reprisals
Somali Christians and human rights activists confirmed that the body of Juma Nuradin Kamil, a kidnapped Christian who converted from Islam, was found decapitated near the southern town of Hudur on September 2.
He was apparently killed after three suspected members of the Islamic group al-Shabab pushed him into a car, witnesses said.
"Islamic radicals kidnapped a Christian brother and then beheaded him. His decapitated body was discovered" by locals on a street, explained Jonathan Racho, the regional manager for Africa of advocacy group International Christian Concern (ICC).
His body was reportedly buried in secret after it lay two days in the open aid as locals feared Islamic reprisals.
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Al-Shabab seeks to impose a strict version of seeks to impose a strict version of Sharia, or Islamic law, and made clear it wants to rid Somalia of "apostates". "Members of the Islamic radical group al-Shabaab have made their intentions very clear that they want to get rid of Christians in Somalia," Racho said.
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Christian analysts have expressed concerns however that even the United Nations-backed transitional government of President Sheikh Sharif Sheik Ahmed supports a version of Islamic law that mandates the death penalty for all those who leave Islam.
Christians were also among those believed to face starvation Sunday, September 18, after Somalia's government banned foreign aid workers and journalists from entering areas controlled by al-Shabab after members of a Turkish charity took food to famine victims in an area under the Islamist group.
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Stefan J. Bos and Joseph DeCaro, BosNewsLife, September 18, 2011
Convert from Islam to Christianity faints after she is paraded before hundreds of cheering spectators and publicly flogged as punishment for embracing a “foreign religion”
Sofia Osman, a 28-year-old Christian from Janale city in Somali’as Lower Shabelle region, had been taken into custody by Islamic extremist al Shabaab militants in November; the public whipping was meant to mark her release. She received 40 lashes on Dec. 22 while jeered by spectators.
“Osman was whipped 40 lashes at 3 p.m., but she didn’t tell what other humiliations she had suffered while in the hands of the militants,” an eyewitness, told Compass, adding that whipping left her bleeding. “I saw her faint. I thought she had died, but soon she regained consciousness and her family took her away.”
The whipping was administered in front of hundreds of spectators after Osman was released from her month-long custody in al Shabaab camps. Nursing her injuries at her family’s home, in the days after the punishment she would not talk to anyone and looked dazed, a source close in touch with the family said. She has since been relocated.
“Please pray for her quick recovery,” the source said.
Janale, one Somalia’s major cities, is about 200 kilometers (124 miles) from Mogadishu.
Osman became a Christian four years ago and was a member of the underground church in the war-torn Horn of Africa country largely controlled by the al Qaeda-linked militants from al Shabaab.
The al Shabaab militia is being hunted down by Kenya Defense Forces in southern Somalia following the extremists’ incursions into Kenya. They had killed and kidnapped tourists and aid workers inside Kenya, prompting military forces to formally enter into war to secure its borders.In response, the al Shabaab militants have targeted churches in northern Kenyan towns such as Garissa in the hope of dividing Kenyans along religious lines. The Kenyan public, however, is largely backed the government decision to pursue the militants deep into Somalia.
Simba Tian, Compass Direct, January 10, 2012
Two teenagers convert to Christianity, their Muslim father is arrested because he failed "to raise his sons as good Muslims". Father will be detained indefinitely unless sons return and possibly face execution for apostasy
Religion Today, January 26, 2012
7-month pregnant convert to Christianity is divorced by her husband, then moves in with parents who also throw her out and threaten to kill her for her conversion. She eventually finds refuge in safehouse for ex-Muslims
At the safe house, Somali Christians gather for a time of worship and Bible study. It not only gives former Muslims a place to eat and sleep, it provides them with spiritual fellowship and discipleship.
The house is run by mature believers who host no more than two people at a time. Eventually, it will help these temporary residents transition to life on their own.
Basmah was seven months pregnant when her Muslim husband divorced her. With nowhere to go, she returned to her mother's house, where she delivered her baby.
But when Basmah's family discovered she had become a Christian, her stepfather kicked her out of the house.
"He said I was infecting the entire household and he threatened to kill me if I didn't leave," she told CBN News.
She was forced to live on the street with her infant until a VOM worker met her and offered her refuge at the safe house."I was praying that God would give me a house where I could sleep," Basmah said. "This is a very good house, a house of worship, a house of God. He answered my prayers."
Gary Lane, CBN News, April 13, 2012
"Recant or face execution", Muslims become suspicious of 3 Christian converts from Islam because they do not attend mosque, militants enter their home and open fire, all 3 hospitalized after suffering gunshot wounds
Two months ago, three Christian converts from Islam returned to their homeland to attend a university in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. The men, whose identities have been concealed for their protection, had been working in Ethiopia and converted to Christianity in 2005. Upon their return, however, people grew suspicious when the men were not seen praying at the local mosque.
‘One of our fellow students jokingly questioned us about why we were not serious about attending prayers at the mosque,’ recalled one of the men. ‘I kept quiet and the discussion ended. Three days later is when we were attacked.’
On June 25, six armed Al Shabab militants entered the Christians’ home and opened fire. The Christians were found by neighbors and were rushed to the hospital. All three suffered gunshot wounds and, after spending a week in the hospital, they determined it was no longer safe to live in Somalia. The men crossed the southern border into eastern Kenya joining thousands of other displaced Somalis in refugee camps in Dadaab.
Local sources told ICC that Al Shabab had been closely monitoring the men for months. ‘New arrivals outside of Somalia are monitored by Al Shabab because they are considered to support western ideologies, including foreign religions, and they are viewed as sympathizers to the West,’ said a Somali journalist in the area. ‘That is why they were victimized.’The men’s plight is one among many acts of violent extremism that has targeted the Somali Christian community in recent months. In a similar case, a Christian family fled Buula-barde, a village in central Somalia, after receiving death threats in May. ‘The extremists began sending threatening messages to their mobile phones to recant their faith or face execution,’ …
International Christian Concern, September 7, 2012
Muslim militants in the coastal city of Barawa accuse a 25-year-old Christian of "spying", behead him for leaving Islam
Mose drew suspicion when he returned to Barawa, in Somalia’s Lower Shebelle Region, in December 2011 after spending time in Kenya, according to underground Christians in Somalia. Kenya’s population is nearly 83 percent Christian, according to Operation World, while Somalia’s is close to 100 percent Muslim.
Morning Star News, December 14, 2012
"Siad deserved to die", Muslim residents approve and confirm death of Christian convert, murdered outside his home by two gunmen for leaving Islam. Surviving widow and five children flee their home in fear
Two unidentified masked men shot Mursal Isse Siad, 55, outside his home in Beledweyne, 206 miles (332 kilometers) north of Mogadishu, for leaving Islam, Muslim and Christian sources told Morning Star News. The assailants fled immediately after the murder.
Siad’s oldest daughter (name withheld), 15, said her father was killed “because he failed to attend the mosque for prayers and used to pray at home. He used to share with us about Jesus.” She said that he had received messages on his mobile phone stating, “We know what you are doing, and you must stop, otherwise you risk your life.”
Siad’s 42-year-old wife (name withheld), three daughters and two sons have fled the area, fearing for their lives.
A Christian source in Mogadishu confirmed the killing, and a Muslim resident of the Beledweyne area also said Siad was killed for leaving Islam.
“Siad deserved to die because he was not committed to the Islamic religion,” the resident said.
Siad and his wife, who converted to Christianity in 2000 according to a source who used to worship with them, had moved to Beledweyne from Doolow eight months ago, after Somalia’s transitional federal government and African Union Mission in Somalia troops captured Beledweyne from Al Shabaab rebels. Siad had taken a job with a local Non-Governmental Organization.“Since we arrived from Doolow, my parents have not been attending the worship at the mosque, but they have been allowing us to worship at the nearby mosque,” his daughter said.
Morning Star News, December 14, 2012