Published: 00:01 GMT Daylight Time - Tuesday 27 March 2012
Lent Prayer - Somalia
Country/Region: Africa, Somalia
Somalia is currently Africa’s most failed state, and a harsh and highly dangerous place to be a Christian. In the absence of an effective central government since the fall of former dictator Siad Barre in 1991, the country has been mired in chaos, anarchy and violence, ruled by insurgents, warlords and clan-based militias. The tiny Christian minority, all converts from Islam, meet in secret or follow Jesus in isolation.
|Many Somalis have been displaced within their own country because of the ongoing violence. The few Christian converts are especially vulnerable
Image source: International Relations and Security Network, Flickr
The weak and corrupt Transitional Federal Government (TFG) has control only over the capital, Mogadishu, and remote pockets of some other regions. But as it has adopted a version of sharia, including the death penalty for apostasy, conditions for Christians are bad even in these areas.
Most abuses against Christians are carried out by al-Shabaab, a radical Islamist militia group that has claimed affiliation with al-Qaeda since 2007 and controls most of southern Somalia. Their goal is to turn Somalia into an Islamic state. They impose an extremely strict version of sharia in these regions and aim to “cleanse” Somali society of so-called “moral pollution”.
Many converts from Islam are martyred for their faith. The body of a Christian man, whose head had been severed and put on his chest, was found in September 2011. Also last year, a Somali teenage girl was repeatedly tied to a tree by her Muslim parents for converting from Islam to Christianity and was beaten severely when she refused to recant her Christian faith. Three months later she was shot and killed by two unidentified men at the home where she had taken refuge.
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This article is taken from
“Praying for the Persecuted Church in Lent 2012” -.