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Persecution Watch: Praying for Believers in Somalia

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday, April 14, 2022 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

Somalia: Population: 16.6 million,  Christians in the hundreds

For more than 25 years, Somalia has been a safe haven for Islamic militants who constantly target Christians both in Somalia and in neighboring countries. Groups like al-Shabab operate with seemingly little pushback and control large parts of Somali territory.

The small number of believers in Somalia are largely Christians who have converted from Islam. Christians are viewed as high-value targets by al-Shabab. Even when Christian converts are not targeted by Islamic extremists, they are intensely pressured by their family. Any conversion from Islam is seen as a betrayal to family and community, so just suspicion of conversion can lead to harassment, intimidation and even murder. Despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, al-Shabab continued to be active in 2021—a reminder that life for Christians in Somalia is never safe.

A believer reported: “The first time in court, they made us sign our death certificates … They told us, ‘You have to deny Jesus right now,’ and we said, ‘No, we will not deny the Lord, but we will rather sign for our death.’”

Despite a slight decrease in violent attacks against Christians, persecution remains extreme in Somalia. No place is safe (even the home) for a Christian in Somalia, and pressure in every area of life is intense and unending.

While no part of Somalia is safe, the areas under control of al-Shabab are the most dangerous for Christians. But all Christians who have converted from Islam are in grave danger in Somalia—from their family, their community and society at large.

Prayer Points

  • Pray that the Lord will touch President Azali Assoumani through His Holy Spirit to open up to Christianity.
  • Continue to pray for peace in Somalia and success in establishing democracy even as the country deals with political upheaval, the constant threat of al-Shabab and the effects of decades of civil war.
  • Pray for believers who are living in an environment that is against Christianity that they keep their eyes focused on the Lord.
  • Pray for the safety of believers who must hide their faith to survive.
  • Pray that the isolated Christians will find other believers for fellowship.
  • Pray that believers will have good internet coverage to access for messages that encourage and bless them.
  • Pray that God would continue to build up His people in Somalia despite the reality that nearly 100% of Somalis are Muslim, and there is no room for Christians. Islam is the state religion—only Islam can be promoted, and Shariah law is the highest authority.  
  • Open Doors has been supporting Somali believers across the Horn of Africa for decades. Pray for the work of all NGOs and ask God to let them bear much fruit.
  • Pray that Christian workers will remain encouraged by the gospel of Christ as they minister.
  • Pray for peace in Somalia. The country continues to struggle with unrest and violent attacks from Islamic extremists.
  • Pray for the al-Shahab fighters to that they would learn the truth of Jesus and His love for them.
  • Pray for leaders, pastors and Christians forced to rebuild their lives after being displaced.
  • Pray for new believers, who are persecuted and ostracized when they come to faith.
  • Pray for Christians who left Islam to follow Jesus. Ask God to give them His protection, wisdom, courage and support—so they know they are never alone.
  •  Pray that the Lord will protect Hid believers from informers.
  •  Pray to the Lord that Christians will experience God’s comfort and show them that they are being prayed for, that they are part of His worldwide family.

Again, we want to lift up these persecuted witnesses to the Lord: 

  • Leah Sharibu, prisoner of Boko Haram since 2018. Pray for her release.
  • Alice Loksha Ngaddah, kidnapped February 2019. She is a mother of two, working as a nurse for UNICEF. Pray for her release.
  • Pray for Pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison.
  • Pray for Anita, a Christian convert facing a long prison term who escaped from Iran and praying to go to a country where she can express her faith openly.
  • For the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, and his family as their Persecution continues. Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of his six-year sentence.

Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

USA Time Zone:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: (667) 770-1476 (Note: We have a new call-in phone number)

Access Code: 281207#

Recommended: For those who may be subject to added charges for conference calls. Please download the app, it’s free!

MOBILE APP: Free Conference Call HD also provides a quick and easy way for you to dial into conference calls without having to remember the dial-in credentials. Save all of your conference call dial-in numbers and access codes using this free app. With the Free Conference Call HD you can instantly dial into a conference call via 3G/4G data network and or regular mobile carrier. Google Play link or App Store – iTunes

If you are experiencing any difficulties joining the call, please let us know.

What is Persecution Watch?

Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God. The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern time in the United States (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted, and the missions became one. Brother Blaine passed into glory on December 26, 2019. It was truly a blessing for all of us to serve alongside this dear man of God and he will be greatly missed. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch remains an important part of our mission. Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with the dedicated Persecution Watch prayer warrior team.

Prior to the passing of Brother Blaine, he confirmed the passing of the torch as prayer conference call leader to Nadia Dybvik. Nadia has a burdened heart for the persecuted and is a prayer warrior standing in the gap for them. She joined the Persecution Watch prayer team in 2013 and has been part of the core ever since. Before becoming the prayer call leader, she served in the role of prayer moderator since 2015. Blaine chose Nadia for her faithfulness to pray for the persecuted and her strong commitment to the Persecution Watch mission. We are blessed not only with her gift of prayer, but her genuine love for every brother and sister in Christ that comes on the call to pray. May the Lord continue to bless Nadia and the prayer team in the mission and their personal lives.

“Pray for us” is the number one request that we hear from the persecuted. As the members of the first century Church were moved by the Holy Spirit to pray, we too must continue to serve those suffering persecution by lifting them up to the Lord through prayer.

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the conference call to share the trials they are facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer. Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.

Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone.

We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you. If you are new to the call and cannot find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!

God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.

Lois Kanalos, Founder, Voice of the Persecuted, Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Leader and the Persecution Watch Prayer Team

NOTE: Please fill out the form in the sign up link below to be included in our distribution list to receive urgent prayer requests, prayer points, notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.

Note to Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) readers: The Persecution Watch prayer team is also the prayer team of Voice of the Persecuted. SIGN UP today.

Persecution Watch: Praying for Believers in Somalia

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday, February 24, 2022 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

Somalia: Population: 16.6 million, Christians: in the hundreds

For more than 25 years, Somalia has been a safe haven for Islamic militants who constantly target Christians both in Somalia and in neighboring countries. Groups like al-Shabab operate with seemingly little pushback and control large parts of Somali territory.

The small number of believers in Somalia are largely Christians who have converted from Islam. Christians are viewed as high-value targets by al-Shabab. Even when Christian converts are not targeted by Islamic extremists, they are intensely pressured by their family. Any conversion from Islam is seen as a betrayal to family and community, so just suspicion of conversion can lead to harassment, intimidation and even murder. Despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, al-Shabab continued to be active in 2021—a reminder that life for Christians in Somalia is never safe.

A believer reported: “The first time in court, they made us sign our death certificates … They told us, ‘You have to deny Jesus right now,’ and we said, ‘No, we will not deny the Lord, but we will rather sign for our death.’”

Despite a slight decrease in violent attacks against Christians, persecution remains extreme in Somalia. No place is safe (even the home) for a Christian in Somalia, and pressure in every area of life is intense and unending.

While no part of Somalia is safe, the areas under control of al-Shabab are the most dangerous for Christians. But all Christians who have converted from Islam are in grave danger in Somalia—from their family, their community and society at large.

  • Pray that the Lord will touch President Azali Assoumani through His Holy Spirit to open up to Christianity.
  • Continue to pray for peace in Somalia and success in establishing democracy even as the country deals with political upheaval, the constant threat of al-Shabab and the effects of decades of civil war.
  • Pray for believers who are living in an environment that is against Christianity that they keep their eyes focused on the Lord.
  • Pray for the safety of believers who must hide their faith to survive.
  • Pray that the isolated Christians will find other believers for fellowship.
  • Pray that believers will have good internet coverage to access for messages that encourage and bless them.
  • Pray that God would continue to build up His people in Somalia despite the reality that nearly 100% of Somalis are Muslim, and there is no room for Christians. Islam is the state religion—only Islam can be promoted and Shariah law is the highest authority.  
  • Open Doors has been supporting Somali believers across the Horn of Africa for decades. Pray for the work of all NGOs and ask God to let them bear much fruit.
  • Pray that Christian workers will remain encouraged by the gospel of Christ as they minister.
  • Pray for peace in Somalia. The country continues to struggle with unrest and violent attacks from Islamic extremists.
  • Pray for the al-Shahab fighters so that they would learn the truth of Jesus and His love for them.
  • Pray for leaders, pastors and Christians forced to rebuild their lives after being displaced.
  • Pray for new believers, who are persecuted and ostracized when they come to faith.
  • Pray for Christians who left Islam to follow Jesus. Ask God to give them His protection, wisdom, courage, and support—so they know they are never alone.
  •  Pray that the Lord will protect hide believers from informers.
  •  Pray to the Lord that Christians will experience God’s comfort and show them that they are being prayed for, that they are part of His worldwide family.

Again, we want to lift up these persecuted witnesses to the Lord: 

  • Leah Sharibu, prisoner of Boko Haram since 2018. Pray for her release.
  • Alice Loksha Ngaddah, kidnapped February 2019. She is a mother of two, working as a nurse for UNICEF. Pray for her release.
  • Pray for Pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison.
  • Pray for Anita, a Christian convert facing a long prison term who escaped from Iran and praying to go to a country where she can express her faith openly.
  • For the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, and his family as their Persecution continues. Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of his six-year sentence.

Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

USA Time Zone:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: (667) 770-1476 (Note: We have a new call-in phone number)

Access Code: 281207#

Recommended: For those who may be subject to added charges for conference calls. Please download the app, it’s free!

MOBILE APP: Free Conference Call HD also provides a quick and easy way for you to dial into conference calls without having to remember the dial-in credentials. Save all of your conference call dial-in numbers and access codes using this free app. With the Free Conference Call HD you can instantly dial into a conference call via 3G/4G data network and or regular mobile carrier. Google Play link or App Store – iTunes

If you are experiencing any difficulties joining the call, please let us know.

What is Persecution Watch?

Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God. The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern time in the United States (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted, and the missions became one. Brother Blaine passed into glory on December 26, 2019. It was truly a blessing for all of us to serve alongside this dear man of God and he will be greatly missed. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch remains an important part of our mission. Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with the dedicated Persecution Watch prayer warrior team.

Prior to the passing of Brother Blaine, he confirmed the passing of the torch as prayer conference call leader to Nadia Dybvik. Nadia has a burdened heart for the persecuted and is a prayer warrior standing in the gap for them. She joined the Persecution Watch prayer team in 2013 and has been part of the core ever since. Before becoming the prayer call leader, she served in the role of prayer moderator since 2015. Blaine chose Nadia for her faithfulness to pray for the persecuted and her strong commitment to the Persecution Watch mission. We are blessed not only with her gift of prayer, but her genuine love for every brother and sister in Christ that comes on the call to pray. May the Lord continue to bless Nadia and the prayer team in the mission and their personal lives.

“Pray for us” is the number one request that we hear from the persecuted. As the members of the first century Church were moved by the Holy Spirit to pray, we too must continue to serve those suffering persecution by lifting them up to the Lord through prayer.

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the conference call to share the trials they are facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer. Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.

Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone.

We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you. If you are new to the call and cannot find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!

God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.

Lois Kanalos, Founder, Voice of the Persecuted, Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Leader and the Persecution Watch Prayer Team

NOTE: Please fill out the form in the sign up link below to be included in our distribution list to receive urgent prayer requests, prayer points, notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.

Note to Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) readers: The Persecution Watch prayer team is also the prayer team of Voice of the Persecuted. SIGN UP today.

Tonight on the Persecution Watch Call: Somalia

Praying for Somalia

(Voice of the Persecuted) Dear Intercessors, you are invited to join us on Thursday, March 19 in a prayer call for the persecuted church.

Again, we want to lift up two persecuted witnesses for the Lord and pray for Leah Sharibu and Alice. That this year will be the year where they will be set free. And also pray for Pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison in China.

Somalia

Population: 15.6 million, Christians a few hundred – down from 31,000 in 2010

Somalia remains mired in civil war, tribalism and violent Islamic militancy. Conversion to Christianity is regarded as a betrayal of the Somali family and clan. If Somalis are suspected of being converts, family members and clan leaders will harass, intimidate and even kill them. Christians with a Muslim background are regarded as high-value targets by al-Shabab operatives and have often been killed on the spot when discovered.

The violent Islamic terrorist group, al-Shabab, advocates Shariah law as the basis for regulating all aspects of life in Somalia. This group has repeatedly expressed its desire to eradicate Christians from the country. Foreign jihadists are also present in the country, but Islamic oppression is not limited to militants only. Christians also face serious persecution from family, extended family members and the community at large.

In every sphere of life—private, family, community, and national—being exposed as a convert to Christianity means life-threatening danger, often leading to on-the-spot execution. This persecution pattern is exceptional and puts Somalia high up in the category of extreme persecution. As a result, most Somali Christians keep their faith completely secret. But despite the risks, Somali people are coming to faith in Jesus—some in miraculous ways.

Over the last years, the situation appears to have worsened. Islamic militants intensified their hunt for people who are Christian and in a position of leadership. An attempt to reopen a church in Hargeisa, Somaliland, in August 2017 also failed, as the government was forced to shut it down due to pressure from the local Islamic population.

There are no church buildings in Somalia, and Christians do not meet regularly. It is strictly illegal to become a Christian or to evangelize. Because there is little trust between people, believers do not reveal themselves. Christians are actively hunted and, when discovered, immediately killed by al-Shabab. Christians are more likely to be killed by a family member than to be imprisoned.

Bibles are illegal, and there is almost no access to the Scriptures in Somalia.

NGO’s/Christian Missions equip secret believers inside Somalia and supports those who carefully share their faith inside Somalia. They also support social media efforts that reach inside the country.

  • Pray to the Lord that there will be a move to tolerance for Christians as the Somali people are more than are extremely hostile to Christians and specially to converts
  • Pray the Lord will continue to build His Church here amid these hostilities.
  • Pray the Somali people in the Horn of Africa turn to God when they go through turmoil. Pray they will have a deep hunger and thirst for the righteousness of God.
  • Pray believers are bold to share the gospel and that your hand of protection is over them
  • Pray for mature and godly role-models among Somali believers.
  • Pray for growing unity among the different fellowships.
  • Pray to the Lord that He will work on the Government and clerical leaders to provide religious freedom.
  • Pray for the secret believers who meet in house churches that they will be protected.
  • Pray for NGOs like VOM to continue to deliver much needed   spiritual support.
  • Pray for unhindered and abundant deliveries of Bibles.
  • Pray for the word to be translated into Somali as only   a very few speak Arabic
  • Pray that the believers know that the body of Christ is praying for them.

Many blessings,

Andy, Prayer Call Moderator for Persecution Watch

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

From any location on your phone

Time:

9:00 PM EST

8:00 PM CST

7:00 PM MST

6:00 PM PST

Call in number: 712 775-7035

Access Code: 281207#

Recommended: For those who may be subject to added charges for conference calls. Please download the app, it’s free!

MOBILE APP: Free Conference Call HD also provides a quick and easy way for you to dial into conference calls without having to remember the dial-in credentials. Save all of your conference call dial-in numbers and access codes using this free app. With the Free Conference Call HD you can instantly dial into a conference call via 3G/4G data network and or regular mobile carrier. Google Play link or App Store – iTunes

What is Persecution Watch?
Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God. The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted and our missions became one. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch is an important part of our own. With the passing of Blaine into glory on December 26, 2019, Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with our dedicated prayer warrior team.

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the call to share the trials they’re facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer. Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.

Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone. We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you. If you’re new to the call and can’t find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!

NOTE: Persecution Watch has a new email address for the prayer team and those who would like to receive urgent prayer requests, weekly call prayer points and notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers. Please fill out the form below to be included in our new distribution list to receive this important information. Since the passing of Brother Blaine Scogin, we thank you for your patience as we have transitioned into this new season. We are grateful for your prayers and to the Lord for guiding us as we continue the Persecution Watch prayer call mission.

Note to Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) readers: The Persecution Watch prayer team is also the prayer team of Voice of the Persecuted. SIGN UP today

‘Risk of genocide’ linked with level of religious freedom

(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”.

Cholera outbreak

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.

Islamic Extremists in Somalia Kill Secret Christian, Her Son, Wound Husband, Sources Say

Photo: Wiki Commons

(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.

PRAY FOR CHRISTIANS IN SOMALIA

By PHCM TERRY C. MITCHELL (http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/ (DN-ST-93-02604.JPG)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By PHCM TERRY C. MITCHELL (http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/ (DN-ST-93-02604.JPG)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

(Voice of the Persecuted) Read: Hebrews 13:13 – So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.
Since the downfall of Ziad Barre in 1991, Somalia has become a safe-haven for Islamic militants. Christian converts
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.
.
PRAY: Today, we pray for our persecuted family in Somalia. Lord, protect and provide. Meet their needs and show them Your everlasting hope. You are the God of shalom; Lord, bring peace. – Amen
.
Please do keep our persecuted brothers and sisters in the nation of Somalia and your prayers.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Together with your generous help, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.

Donations are always desperately needed.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Every day, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and to further His Kingdom! As you greatly bless others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!
You may also send your gift to:

2740 Third St
P.O. Box 122
Trenton, MI. 48183

Pray for Somalia

 somalia facts
Prayer Video below

 SUMMARY

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

PRAYER POINTS

• 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.

Somalia, Tajikistan and Brunei banned Christmas celebrations, this year

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Somalia – According to reports, the Muslim-majority nation banned Christmas. They argued Christian celebrations could threaten the nation’s Muslim faith. In 2013, the nation also banned the Christian holiday citing security reasons, this was the first time it was banned because of religious sentiment. The Somalian population of 10 million is almost entirely Muslim. The country officially adopted Sharia in 2009.

Sheikh Mohamed Kheyrow, director of Somalia’s ministry of religion, said on state radio,

“We warn against celebration of Christmas, which is only for Christians. This is a matter of faith. The Christmas holiday and its drum beatings have nothing to do with Islam.” He said the ministry has sent letters to the police, national security intelligence and officials in the capital Mogadishu instructing them to “prevent Christmas celebrations”

He also claimed, “We [Islamic scholars] are warning against the celebration of such events which are not relevant to the principles of our religion. Such events give also al-Shabaab [incentive] to carry out attacks.”

Ebenezer Obadare, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Kansas who focuses on Africa said,

“I find it difficult to understand how the arbitrary abrogation of Christians might help to deter al-Shabab’s attacks. Not only is the government of Somalia giving in to insurgents and their radical ideologies, unfortunately, it is trampling on the legitimate rights of Somali Christians in the process.”

Foreigners were allowed to celebrate Christmas in their homes, but public celebrations were not allowed. Hotels were included in the ban, along with other public places and prohibited from marking the day.

The ban was announced days after suspected al-Shabab militants attacked a bus near the Kenya-Somalia border and killed at least two people. Some of the Muslims refused the request of the gunmen to split into groups of Muslims and non-Muslims, and shielded the Christian passengers instead. In 2014, the extremist group attacked a Christmas party at an African Union military base in Mogadishu that killed at least three peacekeepers and a civilian.

In a televised interview with Network Africa, a Reuters photo journalist was asked to describe the reaction of the Somalian people towards the banning of the Christmas holiday. The journalist relayed the population welcomed and supported the government’s decision because all were Muslims. He also said there was no need for celebrations because Somalia had no Christian communities.

Tajikistan has also issued its toughest-ever ban on seasonal celebrations, banning Christmas trees and gift-giving in schools.  The education ministry put out a decree prohibiting “the use of fireworks, festive meals, gift-giving and raising money” over new year as well as “the installation of a Christmas tree either living or artificial” in schools and universities.

Brunei

AFP reported that Brunei, a predominantly Muslim country, also banned Christmas celebrations as the Sultan shifts the nation towards Sharia Law.

Religious leaders warned that the ban on Christmas would be strictly enforced, for fear that Muslims could be led astray. “Using religious symbols like crosses, lighting candles, putting up Christmas trees, singing religious songs, sending Christmas greetings … are against Islamic faith,” imams said in sermons published in the local press.

Punishment for violating the ban is a five-year jail sentence. The government warned last year that Muslims would be committing an offence if they so much as wore “hats or clothes that resemble Santa Claus”. Christians were allowed celebrate, but told not to do so “excessively and openly”.

Businesses were told to take down decorations, including Hotels who put up dazzling displays as they cater to western tourists during the holiday. Authorities ramped up spot checks across the capital. A Malaysian expatriate told AFP,

“This will be the saddest Christmas ever for me. The best part of Christmas Day is waking up and having that feeling that it is Christmas, but there’s just none of that here and you just feel deprived. “All this is just because of what the Sultan wants. In 2013, I saw many Muslims together with Christians having a good time at their house parties. Everything was normal and good,” he said.

“All this is just because of what the sultan wants. In 2013, I saw many Muslims together with Christians having a good time at their house parties. Everything was normal and good,” he said.

Most people are too scared to speak up about the ban, and while some privately gripe about the rule they know there is little to be done. “I will be working on Christmas after church. We just have to cope,” a Filipino waitress – one of Brunei’s many guest workers – said.

A Muslim woman called the ban ridiculous and projected the image that Islam does not respect the rights of other religions to celebrate their faith.  “Islam teaches us to respect one another and I believe it starts with respecting other religions even if what is being banned are ornamental displays.”

A Christian addressed the ban saying, “It is an Islamic country and so with respect to the law, churches need to keep decorations indoors. The meaning of Christmas for us isn’t all about Christmas decorations.”

A Catholic foreign worker in Brunei told AFP, “In a globalised world, many countries are trying to unite different people and different religions but it doesn’t seem to be the case here. What’s happening here is that Christians are being alienated from the majority Muslim community.”

Some people dared to post pictures on social media depicting Christmas cheer using the hashtag #MyTreedom, part of a global campaign to highlight oppression against Christians.

Last year, the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, announced the implementation of the first phase of the sharia-based penal code.  The Islamic criminal law is set to include punishments such as flogging, dismemberment and death by stoning for crimes such as rape, adultery and sodomy. Consensual sex between homosexuals will also be criminalized, with death by stoning the prescribed punishment.

Brunei became the first East Asian country to adopt sharia law, despite condemnation from international human rights groups. Amnesty International said that it will “take the country back to the dark ages.”

“It makes a mockery of the country’s international human rights commitments and must be revoked immediately,” said Amnesty’s regional deputy director Rupert Abbott.

It’s interesting to note that the Sultan is one of the richest men in the world. Prohibition did not extend to his business interests. His estimated $20bn fortune includes the historic Beverly Hills Hotel – part of his Dorchester Collection with branches in London, Paris, Milan and Rome. Christmas was very visible in the upscale Le Richemond hotel in Geneva where guests were greeted by lavish Christmas displays in the hotel lobby. The Le Meurice hotel in Paris advertised a Christmas Eve seven-course gourmet menu for €650 (approx. $713 USD) – before drinks – while the Beverly Hills Hotel was also decked out for the holidays.

 

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