(World Watch Monitor) Yemen is the country where the risk of genocide, or mass killing, rose most last year, says Minority Rights Group International (MRG) in its 2017 Peoples Under Threat index, which also includes a large number of countries in which it is most difficult to live as a Christian.
Nine of the Index’s top 12 are also in the top 12 of Open Doors’ 2017 World Watch List– namely Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Nigeria.
MRG calculates its annual index based on a number of indicators directly linked to the level of freedom of religion and expression, including democracy and governance, conflict data, and displacement.
Yemen, for instance, ranks 8th on the MRG Index and 9th on the WWL. The civil war that erupted there in 2014 has caused chaos and lawlessness, creating a climate where oppression can flourish.
Radical Islamist groups such as Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the Islamic State have exploited the power vacuum in Yemen to gain significant influence. Christians have been killed and abducted, including 16 people killed in an attack on a Christian care home for the elderly in March 2016.
According to MRG’s index, which lists the top 70 countries most at risk of genocide, mass killing or systematic violent repression, two-thirds of the countries where this risk has risen are in Africa.
Also, an increasing number of people are living at “deadly risk” in a growing number of “no-go zones” around the world. MRG says its reports shows “how a lack of access from the outside world allows killing to be perpetrated unchecked in disputed territories, militarized enclaves, and in some cases, whole countries… International isolation is a known risk factor for genocide or mass killing”.
Syria, for example, leads the list for the third consecutive year and, according to the report, UN human rights officials have been “granted no access to Syria since the crisis began in 2011”.
Meanwhile the civil war in Yemen has so far killed more than 8,000 people and injured over 45,000 civilians. The fighting between Iran-backed Houthi rebels in the north and the Saudi-backed government in the south has furthermore displaced more than 3 million people – over 10 per cent of Yemen’s population – reports the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
OCHA says these figures are most likely lower than the reality because of the lack of reporting capacity and people not having access to health centres.
Those who have not been killed or injured in the fighting might still lose their lives in the largest ever recorded cholera outbreak in a single country in a single year, aid agencies warn. With a crumbling health system, with less than half the country’s hospitals operational and a lack of available medication, nearly 2,000 people have died of cholera so far, with an estimated 5,000 Yemenis becoming ill every day. More than 600,000 Yemenis could have cholera before the end of the year, the International Committee of the Red Cross has warned.
(Morning Star News) – Islamic extremists in Somalia identified as Al Shabaab rebels last month shot to death an underground Christian woman and her son and seriously wounded her husband, sources said.
The family was asleep at their home at dawn in Afgoi, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) west of Mogadishu, when at least four armed men attacked them on or around Feb. 10 shouting the jihadist slogan, “Allah Akbar [God is greater],” and, “We cannot allow the defiling of our religion with a foreign, Western religion,” said family head Suleiman Abdiwahab.
The 38-year-old secret Christian, a convert from Islam, is recovering from gunshot wounds to his chest near the right shoulder.
“The gunmen fired several shots, then destroyed the door with a big metallic object and then were able enter into the house,” Abdiwahab told Morning Star News. “They randomly shot at everyone.”
The assailants killed his wife, 35-year-old convert Faduma Osman, and the couple’s 11-year-old son, Ahmed Suleiman. The couple’s two daughters, 13 and 7, and their 9-year-old son were able to escape out a backdoor and have found safe shelter in another town, sources said.
Neighbors found the three shot family members lying in their blood. Discovering Abdiwahab still alive, they took him to a local hospital, and he was later transferred to Mogadishu for specialized treatment, he said. Afgoi is located in Somalia’s Lower Shebelle Region.
Al Shabaab, which has been battling government forces for more than 10 years, has taken control of farming areas surrounding Afgoi, sources said. Since the beginning of the year the rebels have briefly taken over the city three times, with Somali government forces driving them out each time, they said.
Afgoi is thus under control of the Somali government but is vulnerable to Al Shabaab attacks. The insurgent militants, the Somali cell of Al Qaeda, have retreated from major cities but still control some rural parts of southern and central Somalia. The past few years Al Shabaab has lost ground to government and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) peacekeeping forces.
Abdiwahab, the wounded family head, has been relocated to a shelter in another town, a source told Morning Star News.
“Abdiwahab, due to the blessings of the lord, has survived and is currently recovering from serious gunshot wounds,” he said.
Somalia is second only to North Korea on Open Doors’ 2017 World Watch List of countries where it is most dangerous to be a Christian.
The death penalty for apostasy is part of Islamic law according to mainstream schools of Islamic jurisprudence, and Al Shabaab and Al Qaeda adhere to the teaching.
Somali law and societal tradition create an atmosphere of hostility toward non-Islamic faiths similar to that created in regimes that execute apostates. The country’s Provisional Federal Constitution (PFC) does not explicitly prohibit Muslims from converting to other religions, but leaving Islam remains socially unacceptable in all areas, according to the U.S. State Department’s latest Report on International Religious Freedom (2015).
The PFC provides for the right of individuals to practice their religion but prohibits propagation of any religion other than Islam, and it makes Islam the state religion. All laws must comply with the general principles of sharia (Islamic law), the report states.
from Islam in the country have been facing a great deal of persecution. The mere suspicion of one’s having renounced Islam leads to a rushed public execution. Martyrdom is very common.
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Sunni Islam is the official religion of the unstable nation of Somalia. With no established permanent government, Somalia functions under the temporary leadership of the Union of Islamic Courts, which serves as a transitional authority. The East African nation, located on the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, is susceptible to droughts and dust storms in the summer and floods during the rainy season. Somalia has the seventh highest birth rate in the world, accompanied by the second highest maternal mortality rate, and fourth highest infant mortality rate. The decades-long instability has also led to a 38% literacy rate, and almost one third of children are underweight.
Northern Somalia, called Somaliland, has remained stable since their independence from Britain in 1991. The southern part of Somalia, called Puntland, has been overrun with civil war, violence, and clan leaders craving power. Consequently, the Union of Islamic Courts has implemented Shari’a law, creating a mixed legal system specific to Somalia of civil, Shari’a, and other customary laws, known as Xeer. Surprisingly, Somalia has a stable economy that depends largely on livestock; nearly two thirds of people in Somalia are livestock herders.
There are 22 people groups in Somalia, 16 of which have never heard the gospel. The vast majority of those living in Somalia are Sunni Muslim and still practice traditions such as female circumcision. Islamic fundamentalists have vowed to eliminate all Christians in Somalia, and murders of Christians are becoming more common. There are currently about 4,000 believers in Somalia who mainly worship in house churches to keep their fellowship a secret. However, as the persecution of Christians heightens so does the boldness of the believers. Most missionary efforts were forced to stop in 1972 as a result of a brief dictatorship. Pray that more missionaries would be called to work among these people.
If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. – John 14:14
• Pray for the believing minority who suffer great persecution and martyrdom.
• Pray for courage and strength for those who are boldly sharing their faith.
• Pray for safe fellowship and encouragement for isolated believers.
My heart is breaking. We have spent countless hours on video conference calls, and phone conversations with our brethren in Nigeria and Pakistan. Two countries, our Lord has laid on our hearts to intervene and bring hope. We have listened to heartbreaking story after story of the desperation, the untold death and suffering. We comfort those who have fled, forced to leave loved ones behind. The sorrow and helplessness in their voices digs at our very soul. But we do this with great love and joy as our Lord commanded us, but at times we shed uncontrollable tears. And today is one of those times.
As I look at videos and pictures of the achievements and growth of a family that we are aiding, I hear sadness in the father’s voice. He is alone, without his family, not by choice but a situation forced on him through extreme persecution.
A short while later I reviewed videos of another sort—the death and destruction carried out by evil men and my soul cries out like theirs does. One on the frontlines was literally broken for a time. The sights of brutal slayings, wails of brokenhearted and lives forever turned upside down, proving too much for his mind and soul to process—literally unable to speak of it. He even began questioning his own faith. After much prayer and comfort from God, he is healing with a renewed spirit and sense of commitment.
We could share all the details that would break your heart in two, but for fear for our brothers and sisters safety, the risk is too great. But know this, their suffering is real, their tears are real, what they are witnessing is real. Traumatized until they reach the Kingdom of Heaven and all sorrow is wiped from their eyes.
The shock and pain the children are enduring is impossible for us to recognize in the West. Our precious brethren in Nigeria and Pakistan wonder, “Do our brethren in the West even know, do they care?” They wonder what would it be like to live in a country where you can walk the streets without fear. Never needing to look over your shoulder, or fearing what awaits around the next corner. To live in a nation not bombarded by targeted attacks month after month, week after week. No need to flee their home to find safe places, as they pass the dead careful to avoid bodies strewn along the path. Why can’t it be this way in their own country, their generational homeland, they don’t want to leave. “We just want to live in Peace.”
I want to share their story, but must do so with discernment.
Recently, we learned of 2 men who were captured by the Boko Haram. They were given the options, convert or die. In fear, one converted, but they killed him anyway stating, “We will send you to Allah without sin.” The other refused to denounce Christ. As they butchered him, he began preaching the Gospel. He begged them not to kill him, not because he was afraid, but because in his words, “You will be judged for this, please don’t do it.” He had that much forgiveness and love for his attackers.
One dear soul tells of a vision that keeps him going, a vision from God of the Kingdom of Heaven. Those of you that share the gifts of prayer and hope, letters, and donations mean so much to those persecuted. One day soon they will be able to tell their stories. But as for now I can only ask that God would allow me to take their pain from them, if only for a moment to allow them comfort.
What if each one of us did this every day, or even once a week? Asking God to give us for a time, the pain of one who suffers allowing them to heal and feel peace. Could you handle it? Could you handle the shock, the pain, the sorrow, the helplessness and hopelessness that they feel every day even for a moment? What if we took 5 minutes even 10, every day to pray and intercede ( o in this manner? I believe the healing that would go forth would amaze.
We don’t normally share video’s that portray horrific images, but I turned to this video by accident which normally I will shut off rather than watch. I already hear firsthand these stories vividly in the lives of our brethren, but this time it was as if God said No, you will watch and then share it. Right now, if God is speaking to your heart to intercede for them—watch this video from Nigeria. It’s 2 years old and at present it is much more volatile. Please use discretion, the video is very graphic and not for the faint of heart. Afterwards, spend time with God asking “What can I do?” Let us know how God is using or moving you for care for these dear ones.
C. Refsland, VOP Advocate/News Analyst
WARNING! VERY GRAPHIC VIDEO BY CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIAN AMERICANS
Islamic extremist threat reigns whether they remain or are repatriated.
KENYA (Morning Star News) – The Somali convert from Islam and his wife were holding each other under their bed in a Kenyan refugee camp as gunmen outside their door threatened to shoot.
Abukar Mohammed (surname withheld for security reasons), 36, suspected members of Somalia’s Islamic extremist Al Shabaab insurgency who lived in the camp near Dadaab were the ones pounding on the door and demanding he open it the night of April 27. The door was made of wooden poles, and the assailants could see through the gaps between them.
“Come out the door or we will kill you,” one of the assailants said.
“Who are you?” said Abukar, who became a Christian 19 years ago in one of the Dadaab refugee camps some 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the Somali border. “We are not opening the door.”
The attackers called him the Arabic and Somali words for infidel, “Kafir,” and “Gaal” respectively, then said, “We need your head.”
“The killers started shooting at us through the spaces between the poles and hit us on the legs,” Abukar told Morning Star News. “As were lying in great pain, I heard the attackers saying, ‘We have killed the infidels’ as they shot into the air while leaving.”
The couple was later found inside their home in a pool of blood. Two days later they were flown to Nairobi’s Kenyatta National Hospital, where they were treated for two months. They continued treatment at a rehabilitation center on the outskirts of Nairobi, but they are still nursing their injuries, and Abukar’s wife, still in great pain, must use a walking stick.
Abukar, who took on the nickname Ali after his conversion to Christ became known in the predominantly Somali Muslim refugee camp, recalled that the assailants spoke to neighbors outside his home before the assault, asking, “Is this the house of Ali, the Gaal?”
The Muslim operators of the camp could hardly be relied upon for security; indeed, Abukar said Kenyan security personnel assisted the gunmen in the assault.
The experience of this Christian couple – Abukar’s wife also a Somali convert from Islam – is just one example of dangers facing Christians in the Dadaab refugee camps, where an office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees is based. Kenyan officials are increasingly trying to repatriate refugees to Somalia, where the threat of Al Shabaab violence awaits them. The Islamic extremist insurgents have vowed to rid Somalia of its underground Christians.
Abukar is one of many refugees who have spent a large part of their lives in the camps – a generation has known no other existence – and in that time concealing his faith became more difficult. He gained popularity as a distributor of food, some of it from a Christian aid organization, to underground Christian families for six months; he associated with an Ethiopian Christian; and he attended a fellowship run by Christian police in the camp.
He had come to Christ in the camp in 1995 under the influence of Canadian Baptist church workers; his wife (name withheld) converted to Christ in the camp in 2006. Childless, she suffered her third miscarriage while being treated for her wounds from the shooting, she said.
The two said they are in desperate need of help.
“We need medicine and food,” Abukar said. “We thank some few Kenyan Christians who once in a while come and see us.”
Another Somali convert from Islam, 48-year-old Abdikadir (surname withheld), saw Muslim relatives and other Somalis burn his home down in one of the undisclosed Dadaab refugee camps in April. He told Morning Star News that they took away his wife and four children in the course of destroying his home.
Like Abukar and his wife, Abdikadir is also a UNHCR-designated refugee; he managed to escape the attack in the camp and is now in hiding elsewhere. He came to Christ while still living in Somalia, and in Kenya his boldness in proclaiming Christ landed him in a Khadi (Islamic) civil court in Garissa under a charge of leaving Islam on March 22, 2013, he said.
“I could not deny my faith in Christ,” he said. “I stood firm with my conviction that Jesus is my Lord and Savior,” he said.
He escaped retribution, but he and other Somali underground Christians in Kenya live in constant fear of Kenya’s repatriation efforts.
“We appeal to the churches in Kenya to protect us and speak of our situation, lest we are taken back to Somalia only to be killed as we try to provide for our basic needs,” he said. “We also appeal to international community to give us asylum abroad.”
There is an ever increasing highway that is being built in the Middle East and Africa. It is no longer tribal factions fighting over grazing land, or water rights. This is a blackness of untold magnitude that is spreading from the east to the west. And it’s growing like a cancer. It has been covered in a fog from the bottom to the top. The bottom with the media, and the top with Governments. The media is working alongside the governments in these areas and the West to cover and distract the world from knowing the truth.
We get only snapshots of terror, that they like to blame on tribal fighting, and small groups of religious zealots, & civil wars over evil dictators. It works for the most part because it guides the public into thinking it’s the same old fight that’s been going on for centuries—why worry about it.
This is not the truth. There is a terrible highway being built by evil factions that have one agenda. Though they are a mixed people they have one goal in mind, and that is to kill everyone and everything that is different from them. If you don’t believe in their brand of god, than you will die. They don’t care about life, they have no regard for it. While talking with a Christian brother from this region, I have come to understand that there are nearly 100 different sects of people who follow Islam. And none of them seem to know which or who will go into ‘paradise’ with their God. So they are all bent on killing seeing this as the sure way to guarantee their entry into paradise. To die in battle fighting in the name of Allah.
So as the media and the West fiddles, so to speak, the middle east and Africa are on fire. In Syria there has been a battle cry raised, a cry that commands all to come and fight. This is not war in the conventional sense, this is not the Syrian people raising up to topple an evil dictator. This is a Holy War, a jihad commanded by a Holy Book. With an end outcome of causing chaos, while ridding the world of non-believers so that their Mahdi/savior can appear.
Leaders in the Middle East supplying the means to martyrs to wreak havoc and slaughter everything in their path. Abomonation means evil, and this is a picture of the worse evil causing astounding devastation. Look at Syria and the devastation there not only to the land, but to the people. Millions have fled, hundreds of thousands have died in heinous ways. The devastation continue while most in the West distract, distract, distract from the truth.
In Somalia today, Charisma magazine is reporting that a woman who converted to Christianity was dragged from her home and shot in the street with the community watching. Some tried to help her, and so they fired into the crowd. This was Al-shabab. (More) Al-shabab is connected to Al-queda via the terror network that is spreading through a super highway of evil. These evil abominations have manifested themselves and are targeting governments and officials in an attempt to rid the regions of ‘Christians.’
This is happening in Somalia, Nigeria, Syria, Lybia, and the CAR. Look at all the deaths to the lawmakers there in recent past. And this is the claim made by these incendiary thugs. They are ridding their land of Christians and those who take money from the West. This is happening in Nigeria, it’s happening in the CAR, it’s happening in Libya, Pakistan, & Afghanistan. It’s time for the world to wake up!
While they have unleashed this snake, dragon, beast, a silent genocide is being carried out. While they terrorize communities, innocents, and governments, the west is silent. They have created these groups Al-qaeda-like, to do their dirty work like in Afghanistan, with proxy wars and now they can’t control them. They can’t do anything but watch. Watch in horror as Christians and the worse slaughter in history takes place. This will go down in history as the second holocaust. A holocaust like the first, as the world was silent while it’s carried out. And they are silent for the second holocaust. So maybe some of our questions have been answered. The West and the world is complicit in this slaughter. And Christians and other minorities are indeed just collateral damage.
While the stench of death rises in every part of these regions, the governments are dividing up the spoils. Land, minerals, oil, diamonds and wealth. And if you enter that door to the East and Africa and get past the stench of death, you see a picture of human rights violations that make the civil rights of the 60’s and the Nazi movement of WWII that makes them pale in comparison.
In Pakistan alone, did you know that most public water wells and fountains specifically only for Muslims? This is not an isolated incident when the Christian woman, (Asia Bibi) was sentenced to death for drinking out of a Muslim well. It is considered that a Christian will defile the water. I have talked to another Christian brother who say’s this is the norm. Christians are not allowed to drink from public water, they are not allowed to eat in many public places. And they are spat on, beat, mocked and threatened with death for doing the things that we take for granted.
Children are exploited, raped, prostituted and executed. In Libya, I have spoken to a young Christian who is beat regularly, and threatened with death by his own family for his faith in Christ. He is constantly in fear for his life, quite possibly by the hands of his relatives. Where is the outcry from the Human Rights committees? We can’t hear them…silenced by greed and world leaders.
Remember nothing is as it seems. Understand what is happening . Recognize the symptoms of evil, and corruption. The thrawls of death have it’s claws into the innocents and it will not let go, until they have eliminated them.
By C. Refsland, VOP Advocate/News Analyst
There is so much violence in the CAR, Nigeria, Sudan, and Somalia. Staggering chaos and many, many unanswered questions. The MSM reports that Chadian Troops have killed 24 people, mainly Christians when they attacked neighborhoods in Bangui 2 days ago. Reports from BBC indicate that the Chadian troops were attacked by the ‘Christian Militia.’ BBC also say’s that Chadian forces have been accused of supporting muslim rebels. (more) What is puzzling is that the Chadian troops are not part of the African Union Peacekeeping force. So why are militaries, and militia’s allowed to wreak havoc here? Why has the government, strengthened by the French army, the UN and African Peace keeping forces not been able to bring about calm?
The African Peace keepers are defending the Chadian Troops, stating that they came under attack from ‘Christian Militias’. There are very deep feelings from the area about the Chadian troops. (More) Chad has been accused of meddling in the conflict, helping to overthrow the government last year. The new government lead by the Central African Republic’s first female president Catherine Samba-Panza, has been embroiled in it’s own controversy. At her first speech to the nation, she re-introduced the military, and minutes after she left, the new Army beat a man to death and drug him through the streets. (Read here)
Chad and Libya has had their share of back and forth, but remember Chad in the beginning was backing Gadaffi. And he even had Chadian forces defending him. We all know about the French, Nato, and Gadaffi, with reported hints of arms trafficking into Libya and the Benghazi incident, where Ambassador Stevens and others were killed. Here is a quote from International Crises Group from 2011 titled ‘Africa without Qaddafi: The Case of Chad:
“When the crisis began, Déby tried to defend Qaddafi’s legitimacy by accusing the rebels of colluding with Islamists. Though his government denied it was providing any military support, the presence of Chadian fighters in Libya among Qaddafi’s troops stripped his statements of weight.” (More)
Despite sincere efforts of the media portraying this as a religious war, this is most likely not the case. Religious leaders have been speaking out regularly stating it’s a political conflict not religious. And it’s Christian and Muslim leaders. This map may show why this conflict continues to rage. Take note of the oil pipelines.
The Christians and the Muslims have lived side by side here for years without incident. We have just reported recently that it’s been found that so-called Christians are fighting with the Seleka (muslim rebels) and the Muslim rebels are fighting with these so-called Christians. The Anti-balaka raise many red flags, such as who is training them? And the big question—where is the ‘Lord’s Resistance Army’? We know they are in the area. And not much has been said about them lately. We also found that the practices of the Anti-balaka closely resemble the practices of the ‘Lord’s Resistance Army.’ They wrongfully call themselves, Christian Militia. Their actions and rituals are far from Christianity.
Religious leaders from both sides recently met in the West begging us not to forget them. But it appears we have done just that.
The refugee camps which many are fleeing to, are rife with rebels hiding as refugees. These camps are hot beds for kidnapping, rape, torture and arms trafficking. So why can’t the government gain control? Not surprising, these arms shipments are making their way north to the Boko Haram in Nigeria. With some caches recently found and seized by the Cameroon military near the Nigerian border.
The Boko Haram are a vicious, radical Islamist sect who kill anything that move in their attacks. And they have become more embolden in recent months. Is there a connection?
According to the UNHCR: Over 400,000 people are estimated to be internally displaced, compared to some 94,000 in early 2012. Some 65,000 individuals have fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Republic of the Congo, Chad and Cameroon, bringing the global number of Central African refugees close to 220,000.
Euro news: Thousands have died since the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power a year ago and launched a campaign of terror.
Nigeria, Boko Haram: The group is known for attacking Christians and government targets, bombing churches, attacking schools and police stations, kidnapping western tourists, but has also assassinated members of the Islamic establishment. Violence linked to the Boko Haram insurgency has resulted in an estimated 10,000 deaths between 2002 and 2013. The conflicts have left around 90,000 people displaced. Human Rights Watch claims that Boko Haram uses child soldiers, including 12 year olds.
The statistics are very hard to obtain for these areas, I can tell you in 2014 the violence and death’s have increased to the point of Genocide. The amount of people displaced has exponentially increased. Please don’t let the horrors these people face go unnoticed or forgotten. Speak out, and pray. Pray for calm, pray for peace, pray for comfort, strength, and protection. So many innocent people and children are suffering beyond imagination.
This is an ongoing conflict, and we will update as we get new information.
By C.Refsland & L.Kanalos VOP Advocates