Somalia (MNN) — Another Christian was murdered because of her faith in Mogadishu, Somalia. A group of armed men burst into the home of Sufia and dragged her outside while shooting at neighbors trying to rescue her. After killing the young woman, the men fled from the scene and have not yet been found. Sufia’s parents were physically unharmed but are now mourning the devastating loss of their daughter.
Somalia is second to North Korea as the world’s worst persecutor of Christians. Somali Christians face almost certain death in their own country and other neighboring countries where many Somalis flee as refugees. “In Somalia, they kill you if they just find a piece of literature,” said Voice of the Martyrs regional director.
Somalia’s population of over ten million people is 99.8% Sunni Muslim and 0.1% Christian. Since Somalia has suffered a civil war for over two decades, Christians are targeted by all of the factions fighting for control. The most dangerous group is the militant Islamist group known as al-Shabaab which controls much of southern and central Somalia. Al-Shabaab, which means “The Youth” in Arabic, has sworn to rid Somalia of Christians and impose its strict interpretation of Sharia law. In February 2012, al-Shabaab leaders announced that the group had joined al-Qaeda. When Christians are discovered by al-Shabaab, they are often beheaded on the spot.
Somalia’s community of converts to Christianity is estimated to be fewer than 200 people viewed as apostates by the Muslim majority.
Where are the churches? Every single church building in the country was destroyed during the civil war, causing Christians to meet for fellowship in small home groups. Even through the times of persecution, God is moving in the lives of Christians and is giving them comfort.
As members of one body in Christ, let us join with Sufia’s loved ones in their suffering and grief at this time. Pray that they will trust wholeheartedly in Jesus Christ and have the assurance that Sufia is now experiencing the reality of heaven.
Pray that the gunmen will be found and brought to justice. Pray that God will grant them repentance and that they will come to faith in our Lord. Pray that the church in Somalia will continue to grow despite the harsh persecution God’s children endure.
Pray that the faith of those in Somalia would spread through Somalia and neighboring countries.