Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Islamic Extremists Kill another Christian in SomaliaFourth Christian Martyred in Somalia in the Last Six Months By Jeremy Reynalds
Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
WASHINGTON, D.C. (ANS) -- Islamic extremists have shot and killed a Muslim convert to Christianity.
According to a news release from the Washington, D.C. based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC), the slaying occurred on April 22 in Baidawa, a town 149 miles from Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.
The 29-year-old victim's name was David Abdulwahab Mohamed Ali.
ICC filled in some of the horrifying details. On April 22, one of Ali's cousins took two other members of the Islamic extremist group Al-Shabab to Ali and asked him if he was a Muslim or an infidel. He answered, "Neither."
They asked, "Then what are you?"
He answered, "Waxaan ahay Masiixi," which means, "I am a follower of the Messiah."
ICC said that at this point Ali's cousin became both furious and humiliated. In Somalia's strict Muslim society, Ali's conversion to Christianity brought enormous shame on his family. His cousin's first response was to pull out a gun and shoot Ali.
The other two extremists did the same, and the three continued shooting Ali until their Muslim "honor" had been avenged.
Ali had been living in Ethiopia since 2000 when he traveled to Somalia this April to visit his family.
ICC reported he came to Christ in 1995, in Yemen, where he was living as a refugee. In 2000, Ali's friend, Mohammed Omer Haji, was sentenced to death by the government of Yemen for his faith in Christ. Haji was able to take refuge in New Zealand.
However, Ali had to flee Yemen and move to Ethiopia because Yemeni authorities were looking for him also.
According to ICC, Ali was a gifted evangelist who led many to the Lord, actively sharing his faith through blogs. He was also a linguist and a philosopher whom some Somalis called "The Great Thinker."
ICC reported that Islamic extremists have recently intensified their attacks against Christians in Somalia. In the past six months, four Christians, including Ali, have been martyred for their faith.
ICC said the attacks against Christians in Somalia are carried out by a group called Al-Shabab, an Al-Qaeda linked militant group. Al-Shabab is fighting to establish an Islamic state in Somalia, ruled by Sharia law, and is on the United States' list of terrorist organizations.
ICC spoke with a leading Somali Christian who urged the international community to condemn what he called the "genocide-in-the-making" that the Church in Somalia is facing.
ICC said the Somali Christian expressed his fear that "less than three percent of the Somali population is Christian, and we (the Christians) could be eliminated in this generation by the Muslim violence if the massacre is not stopped now."
ICC's regional manager for Africa, Darara Gubo, said in a news release, "The deadly Jihad against Christians continues, and Christians in Somalia need our help and support. Please don't forget our brothers and sisters in Somalia."
To learn more about the needs of Somali Christians, go to www.persecution.org