Nurta Mohamed Farah, a 17-year-old girl in Somalia, who converted to Christianity from Islam, was shot to death last week in an apparent “honor killing,” area sources said. She had fled her village of Bardher, Gedo Region to Galgadud Region to live with relatives after her parents tortured her for leaving Islam. Then, on November 25th, she tragically died after being shot in the chest and head. According to Compass News, area sources said they strongly suspected that the two unidentified men who shot her were relatives.
Farah had been confined to her home in Gedo region in southern Somalia since May 10, when her family found out that she had embraced Christianity. Area Christians reported that Farah was severely beaten and tortured for leaving Islam and had been shackled to a tree by day, and put in a small, dark room at night. She was also taken to a doctor who prescribed medication for a “mental illness.” Alarmed by her determination to keep her faith, her parents decided she had gone crazy and forced her to take the prescribed medication, but it had no effect in swaying her from her faith, the source said. Traditionally, many Somalis believe the Quran cures the sick, especially the mentally ill, so the Islamic scripture was recited to her twice a week. She declined her family’s offer of forgiveness in exchange for renouncing Christianity, sources said.
Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government generally does not enforce protection of religious freedom. Instead, according to the U.S. Department of State’s 2010 International Religious Freedom Report, “non-Muslims who practiced their religion openly faced occasional societal harassment. Conversion from Islam to another religion was considered socially unacceptable. Those suspected of conversion faced harassment or even death from members of their community.”
Father, together we thank You for Nurta Farah’s unswerving faith, and pray for all Christians in Somalia who face persecution right now. We ask that they do not feel alone or abandoned, instead we ask that You provide them with other Christians to fellowship with. May they be protected and stay steadfast as they seek to live for You in such a dark place.
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