Saturday, November 13, 2004
A file photo of Mogadishu Cathedral
I read Somalis Infuriated By Religious Persecution Claims with great disbelief. I am not sure where Ali Halni, the writer of the article I am responding to, was when twelve Somali Christians were murdered for their faith in Mogadishu from 1994-1996.
Many of these Somali Christians were well-known and honorable citizens. Their only fault was their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I am writing this response with great knowledge and experience.
I was pastoring the house church in Mogadishu in which the murdered saints belonged to—I was their pastor and they were my flock. Ali Halni and the Somali Sheiks he quotes are simply in denial—there are thousands of Somali Christians in Somalia and I know many of these underground believers who cannot show their faith in public for they fear for their lives.
To say that there are not Somali Christians in Somalia is a shameful claim. It was in 1994 when the severity of the persecution against the Somali Christians skyrocketed. Somali Muslims lashed out against a small house church in Mogadishu where I was co-pastoring.
Liibaan Ibraahim was the first Christian martyr. He was shot to death one early morning when he was reporting to work. He was a nurse by training. Dr. Ahmed Gobe was next Somali Christian to be murdered. He was shot one evening when he was returning from his clinic. His bullet-ridden body was found the next morning.
Another member of our underground church who was martyred was Mohammed Haji. He was a former university professor who was educated in Canada. Mohammed was rebuilding the school system in Mogadishu that suffered under the civil war. He was then kidnapped and assassinated by Somali Muslim fanatics.
Another Somali Christian to be murdered was the famous Sheekh Doon. He and his wife were shot and killed in their bedroom in KM.4 area when some gunmen had broken into their home one night. Their children escaped physical harm.
Another Somali Christian member, Saleebaan Mohammed, was snatched from the bus he was riding home from work and was executed publicly in broad day light near Mogadishu University.
The Islamists who committed this horrible murder held a long sermon over Saleban’s body chronicling how he supposedly misled many Somalis by converting them to Chrsitainity!
Only two members of our underground church in Somalia, have survived the carnage, myself and another believer. The murderers are still roaming in the streets of Mogadishu with impunity. The local authorities are not holding them responsible but the Lord will.
Neither denial nor persecution will destroy the Somali Church. Our risen Lord, Jesus Christ, is her Protector and he will make sure that the gates of hell will not prevail her. The Islamic scholar, Youssef Torhami, is not a spokes person for the Somali Church. His challenge to the Barnabas Fund “to come up with a trace of a single Somali Christian citizen in Somalia” is simply unrealistic at the best and malicious at the worst; who will guarantee the security of that single Somali Christian in lawless Somalia? However, I am a Somali Christian leader and I am willing to meet you--drop me a line if you are serious.
God has accepted those martyrs into His glorious Kingdom of Heaven. They were faithful to Jesus Christ and to His Testimony until the end. As Jesus said in the Book of Revelation chapter 2, “Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
May God grant that those murderers will come to see the light that Jesus Christ is Lord, may they ask Jesus Christ to forgive them of their sins, or they will burn and suffer eternally in the lake of fire, the second death. For God alone has power over the second death.
Peace & Milk,
Brother Warsameh (B.Th., M.Div.)