Al Shabaab hits where it hurts most

(Photo courtesy Open Doors USA)

(Photo courtesy Open Doors USA)

Somalia (WWM) — The crisis in Somalia is deepening as attacks linked to the extremist group al-Shabaab in the capital of Mogadishu continued over the weekend, highlighting once more the country’s desperate need for prayer.

On Friday, al-Shabaab killed a member of parliament, Aden Madeer, in Mogadishu by blocking his car and spraying it with bullets. He was the chairman of the parliamentary finance committee and is the fifth legislator to be killed in less than four months.

Al-Shabaab, which advocates the strict Saudi-inspired Wahhabi version of Islam and is battling the government to create an Islamic state, said they killed Madeer because he brought “Christian enemies” to Somalia–a reference mainly directed at African Union forces. Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, the spokesman for al-Shabaab’s military operations, said the rebels would kill lawmakers “one by one” if they continued to back President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s government.

(Photo courtesy Open Doors USA)

(Photo courtesy Open Doors USA)

Local media outlet Horseed reported that AMISOM (African Union) and Somali National Army troops on Sunday captured an assortment of heavy weapons and ammunition belonging to al-Shabaab in Mogadishu after receiving a tip. The Amison force commander, Lt. Gen. Silas Ntigurirwa, noted that some of the weaponry captured was already assembled and loaded for use and could have been used to cause extensive harm to the Somali people. They said the capture is a good sign that “very soon Somalia will get peace and security.”

On the same day, at least three women died and seven others were injured when a bomb placed at a busy market in the capital was detonated remotely. No one has claimed responsibility, but it is assumed that al-Shabaab orchestrated the attack. The victims were working as city cleaners.

The Open Doors regional director for Africa says: “These are worrying reports. Somalia needs stability, but it cannot be at the cost of sound legal process. We continue to pray that the young and fragile government of Somalia succeeds in bringing stability to this nation while upholding human rights.

(Photo courtesy Open Doors)

(Photo courtesy Open Doors)

“Moreover, we pray for the Body of Christ in Somalia on whom the continued instability is taking its toll. We are encouraged to hear testimonies of sustained faith and boldness in sharing the Gospel despite the dangers, but realize that they desperately need our prayers.”

Somalia is ranked No. 2 on the Open Doors 2014 World Watch List of the 50 worst persecutors of Christians.