Christian man, whose name cannot be disclosed, was kidnapped by al-Shabaab militants in the south-central city of Baidoa, Somalia, in May 2015. They interrogated him about his faith and as they did so, they chopped off four fingers on his right hand. He managed to escape the militants and is in hiding.
Somalia’s population is almost 10 o% Muslim, and those who convert from Islam must meet in absolute secrecy or live out their faith alone because of the danger of kidnappings, sexual abuse, torture and murder carried out against this very small minority. Somali Christians live under the constant threat of al-Shabaab jihadi attacks. The group has said its intention is “to get rid of the barbaric and non-Islamic culture in the country’. Dozens of Christians have been killed since 2008, when the group seized control of central and southern Somalia.
Al-Shabaab, which has declared its allegiance to al-Qaeda and wants to establish a radical Islamic state in East Africa, has been pushed back but still controls areas of central and southern Somalia. In these areas, the group enforces brutal sharia punishments such as stoning, amputation and flogging.
Somalia has been without an effective government for many years. Fighting between various warlords left the country in chaos, with no one to deal with severe famines, piracy, and the rise of Islamist groups. In 2012, Somalia’s first formal parliament in more than 20 years was sworn in.
Lift up in prayer Christian converts in Somalia who have made a costly decision and face an isolated, dangerous life. Pray that they will know that they have brothers and sisters around the world who remember them in prayer. Pray also that they will be able to safely connect with other believers. Praise God that al-Shabaab forces are slowly being driven from more and more parts of the country. Pray for a government that will bring a just and merciful rule to this chaotic country.