On January 5, Asha Mberwa’s husband, Abdinazir Mohammed Hassan called his wife to make arrangements to move the family out of the area because of Asha’s fears that their lives were threatened. Al Shabaab extremists, who control large parts of Mogadishu, monitored the conversation and confirmed that she had become a Christian. She was arrested the next day.
Then on January 7, in front of villagers in Warbhigly, on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Islamic extremists slit the throat of 36 year old Asha Mberwa because of her faith in Christ. She is survived by her children – ages 12, 8, 6 and 4 – and her husband of 17 years, who was not home at the time she was apprehended. According to Compass News Asha’s children are being cared by “a good Samaritan” in Mogadishu. Her children, traumatized by their mother’s violent death, continue to weep and cry out for her.
Al Shabaab insurgents have embarked on a campaign to rid the country of its hidden Christian population. With estimates of al Shabaab’s size ranging from 3,000 to 7,000, the insurgents seek to impose a strict version of sharia (Islamic law). Said to have ties with al Qaeda, al Shabaab has been designated a terrorist organization by several western governments.
The transitional government in Mogadishu, fighting to retain control of the country, treats Christians little better than the al Shabaab insurgents 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. Somalia is in the number five position on Open Doors World watch List of countries where the persecution of Christians is most severe.
Thank You, Father, for Asha’s faith in You and that she is now enjoying perfect peace and joy in Your presence. We pray, though, for her children who have known more tragedy in their young lives than anyone should ever know. Our hearts weep for them, as we know Yours does. We are powerless in ourselves to help them, but we call on You to heal them from this trauma and to protect them. Strengthen their faith. We are comforted only in your promise that “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1)
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Additional Prayer Alerts
Twenty-seven year old Seble Hagos Mebrahtu was arrested after being caught reading her Bible in her bedroom. In a weakened condition following two weeks of torture and harsh treatment, she died having been denied medical care for malaria.