News has just come that another brother in Christ has been killed in Somalia.
Conditions in Somalia for the general population have been very difficult, especially since civil war broke out in 1991. There is only a partially functioning transitional federal government, which controls the capital, Mogadishu. The government is hostile to Christianity, as are the clans that control much of the country. Since the national judiciary ceased to exist, most of the country is governed by local custom, heavily influenced by Sharia (Islamic) law, which requires the death penalty for leaving Islam.
Probably less than one percent of Somalis are Christians, and all meet in deep secrecy. The Islamic militant group al Shabaab, which controls central Somalia, is waging an ongoing campaign to destroy all Christians, especially converts from Islam. Radicals killed at least 15 Christians in 2009, including the beheading of two sons of a Christian leader, according to Compass Direct News, www.compassdirect.org, a web news service that reports on persecution of Christians worldwide.
Osman Abdullah Fataho was gunned down on July 21 in front of his wife and children, who were then all kidnapped. Fataho’s widow was later released on the condition that her children be kept and trained as Islamic soldiers. Compass Direct reported that Fataho was “a long-time Christian deeply involved in the activities of the small, secret Christian community,” and was targeted because he had left Islam for Christ.
In Hebrews 13:3 the Word commands us to, “remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.”
When we become aware of the needs of our persecuted brothers and sisters, at least two thoughts should come to mind. First, “a part of the body of which I am a part is hurting. What should I do about that?” Second, “another part of Satan’s kingdom is falling.” Persecution is Satan’s normal response to the advance of God’s kingdom.
• For the children of our martryed brother: 5-year-old Ali Daud Fataho, 7-year-old Fatuma Safia Fataho, 10-year-old Sharif Ahmed Fataho and Nur Said Fataho, 15
• For our Somali brothers and sisters who are left to carry on