Christians Under Attack in Somalia

by | May 10, 2010 | Charisma Archive

Islamic militants have killed another leader of the
underground church movement in Somalia, sources said.

Before
he was fatally shot on May 4 in Xarardheere, about 37
miles from Jowhar, 57-year-old Yusuf Ali Nur had been on a list of people the
Islamic extremist al Shabaab suspected of being Christian, sources who
spoke on condition of anonymity told Compass Direct News. Al Shabaab, said to have
links to al-Qaeda, has vowed to rid Somalia of Christianity.

The
militants fighting the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in Mogadishu had
been engaged in a two-hour battle with a rival rebel group, the Ahlu Sunna
Waljamer, which had taken control of the Xarardheere area, before they came
across Nur. Nur had lived in Xarardheere since leaving Jowhar in July 2009.

Eyewitnesses
said that after al Shabaab took control of the area, they went from
house to house looking for enemy fighters when they arrived at Nur’s rented home
at about 10:30 a.m. Sources said that upon finding Nur, one of the militants
remarked, “Oh! This is Yusuf, whom we have been looking for,” before they
sprayed him with bullets at close range.

Nur
is survived by his wife, whose name was withheld for security reasons, and three
children, ages 11, 9 and 7.

This
latest death comes after several execution-style murders of Somalis suspected of
being members of a suppressed yet resilient underground faith movement in
Somalia. A number of Christians have been beheaded by the radical Islamists out
to topple the fledgling TFG and introduce a strict version of shariah, or Islamic law.

Al
Shabaab,
which controls large parts of central Somalia, recently banned radio stations
from playing music and outlawed bell ringing that signals the end of school
classes “because they sound like church bells.”

Nur,
who had worked on a farm while in Jowhar, had long being monitored by al
Shabaab, the sources said. After settling in Xarardheere, he became the
head teacher of Ganane Primary School and also
taught English. The al Shabaab militants object to the use of English,
preferring Arabic. And even after relocating to Xarardheere, Nur realized he was
in danger of the militants finding him, sources said.

Ganane
is a private school owned by wealthy Somali proprietors.

In 2009 Islamic
militants in Somalia sought out and killed at least 15 Christians, including
women and children. This year, on Jan. 1 al Shabaab members murdered
41-year-old Mohammed Ahmed Ali after the Christian had left his home in Hodan,
on the outskirts of Mogadishu.

On March 15,
al Shabaab rebels shot Madobe Abdi to death on March 15 at 9:30 a.m. in
Mahaday village, 31 miles north of Jowhar. Abdi’s death was
distinctive in that he was not a convert from Islam. An orphan, Abdi was raised
as a Christian

Advocacy group
International Christian Concern has reported that three members of al
Shabaab killed Somali Christian Mu’awiye Hilowle Ali in front of his home in
Afgoye on March 23, executing him with close-range shots to his head and chest.

The transitional
government in Mogadishu fighting to retain control of the country treats
Christians little better than the al Shabaab extremists do. While
proclaiming himself a moderate, President Sheikh Sharif Sheik Ahmed has embraced
a version of sharia that mandates the death penalty for those who leave Islam.

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