By Jeremy Reynalds, Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A human rights group has learned that members of al-Shabab a Somali Islamic extremist group have killed yet another leader ofan underground church in the Somalia capital of Mogadishu.
Washington-based International Christian Concern ICC, reported that on Oct. 10, Pastor Ali Hussein Weheliye was returning home from a worship servicewhen two masked members of al-Shabab ambushed and shot him. He waslater taken to Darful Shifa Hospital where he died of bullet wounds on Oct. 20.
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 whoare now in hiding fearing for their lives.
ICC reported that Al-Shabab has previously declared Somalia as an Islamic state, vowing to eradicate Christians. Just this year, the group has killed a dozen Somali Christians. Several Christians have also left the country due tothe intense persecution. Despite the killings by al-Shabab, the Somali churchis growing rapidly.
ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa and South Asia, Jonathan Racho, said in a news release, “The underground church in Somalia is enduring untold suffering. Al-Shabab and other Islamic extremist groups are hunting downand killing Christians. By killing Christians, the Islamic extremists have repeatedly demonstrated utter disregard to human life and freedom of religion.”
ICC asked that readers pray the Lord would comfort and strengthen Ali’s wife and daughter. In addition, ICC requested prayer for courage and wisdomfor the underground churches in Somalia.