Militants from the Islamic extremist al Shabaab beheaded a 17-year-old Somali Christian near Mogadishu last month, a journalist in the Somali capital told Compass News. Militants, who have vowed to rid Somalia of Christianity, killed Guled Jama Muktar on Sept. 25 in his home near Deynile, about 12 miles from Mogadishu.
The Islamic extremist group had been monitoring his family since they arrived in Somalia from Kenya in 2008, said a source in Mogadishu. The Islamic militants, who are fighting the transitional government for control of the country, knew from their observations of the family that they were Christians, the source said. “I personally know this family as Christians who used to have secret Bible meetings in their house.”
Based on talks with the boy’s parents and their neighbors al Shabaab members arrived at Muktar’s home at 6 a.m., after his parents had already left for work. The extremists found Muktar as he was preparing to go to school, according to the source. “The neighbors heard screaming coming from the house, and then it immediately stopped,” he said. ” The neighbors informed the parents, who hurriedly returned home from their market stall. They buried their son’s body quickly, fearing the militants would kill them as well, returned to their market space and then fled to an unknown destination. The source said, “Since then, I have not heard from them.”
In a separate incident in southwestern Somalia, a kidnapped Christian convert from Islam was found decapitated on Sept. 2. Juma Nuradin Kamil was forced into a car by three suspected Islamic extremists from the al Shabaab terrorist group on Aug. 21, area sources said. After members of his community thoroughly combed the area looking for him, at 2 p.m. on Sept. 2 one of them found Kamil’s body dumped on a street. A Christian who saw Kamil’s body said it bore the marks of an al Shabaab killing. “It is usual for al Shabaab to decapitate those they suspect to have embraced the Christian faith, or sympathizers of western ideals.”
In the Lower Shabele region of Somalia earlier this year, two Muslim extremists murdered a member of a secret Christian community, sources said. An area source told Compass two al Shabaab militants shot 21-year-old Hassan Adawe Adan in Shalambod town after entering his house on April 18. In another village, on the outskirts of Mogadishu, a mother of four was killed for her Christian faith on Jan. 7 by Islamic extremists from al Shabaab, a relative said. The relative, who requested anonymity, said Asha Mberwa, 36, was killed when the Islamic extremists cut her throat in front of villagers who came out of their homes as witnesses.
Muslim extremists from al Shabaab, which has ties to al Qaeda, control the area some 249 miles from Mogadishu. With estimates of al Shabaab’s size ranging from 3,000 to 7,000 members, the insurgents seek to impose a strict version of sharia (Islamic law). Al Shabaab was among several splinter groups that emerged after Ethiopian forces removed the Islamic Courts Union, a group of sharia courts, from power in Somalia in 2006. Al Shabaab has been designated a terrorist organization by several western governments. But the government in Mogadishu, fighting to retain control of Somalia, 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.
Father our hearts break as we read the reports of the brutal murders of our brothers and sisters in Somalia. Father we pray, “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Rev 12:11. Lord Jesus, Satan may have taken their earthly lives, but we pray today that their testimonies live on… and may many come to know You through the lives of these precious saints. Amen