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SOMALIA: Update – Arrested Couple Released

SOMALIA: Update – Arrested Couple Released

On 21 September, police in the self-declared autonomous region of Somaliland detained a Christian couple. They were described as “apostates and evangelists spreading Christianity.”

The couple, who are the parents of three children, appeared in court several times after their detainment. In the wake of pressure from European governmental representatives, the regional court ordered on 1 November that they be released and deported from the area. The couple is now living in a different region of Somalia.

Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in 1991, although it remains internationally recognised as part of Somalia. The constitution of the region specifies ‘freedom of belief’ but this area is being governed by strict Islamic law, barring the propagation of any religion other than Islam and prohibiting Muslims from converting to another religion.

Sources: Middle East Concern, Barnabas Fund

  • Praise God that this couple have been released without charge and reunited with their children. Ask Him to supply the provisions they need after being forced to resettle in another area.
  • Pray that this family will be truly safe and free to practise their faith without opposition.
  • May their most recent trial serve to strengthen and deepen their commitment to God, giving them the boldness to share His love with their new neighbours.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

SOMALIA: Christian Couple Arrested

SOMALIA: Christian Couple Arrested

At an October news conference, police in the self-declared autonomous region of Somaliland announced that a Christian couple had been arrested for being “apostates and evangelists spreading Christianity.” On 21 September, the two were taken from their home in Hargeisa where police also found Christian literature in their possession.

The police spokesperson, Faisal His Elmi, stated that the arrest came from an anonymous tip. He also threatened that “whoever dares to spread Christianity in this region should be fully aware that they won’t escape the hand of the law enforcement officers and that the spread of Christianity will not be allowed and is considered blasphemy.” He encouraged others to report Christians who share their faith.

The detained couple, who are the parents of three children, will face trial by a regional court. Their arrests and detentions have generated fear among other believers in the area, causing many of them to flee for safety. A safe house sponsored by VOM has been overwhelmed with believers seeking temporary refuge.

Sources: Middle East Concern, Geeska Afrika Online, The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Pray that the presence of God will be sensed by this couple and their children, reminding them to trust in Him.
  • Pray the other Somali believers who have fled the area in search of safety be greatly encouraged and strengthened by God’s Word and each other.
  • Pray for church leaders in this highly restricted nation, who are faithfully serving the Lord and His people.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

SOMALIA: Scholars Urge Followers to Defend Islam

SOMALIA: Scholars Urge Followers to Defend Islam

Realising that a growing number of Somalis are leaving Islam and embracing Christianity, Somali Islamic leaders are issuing warnings and urging their followers to defend Islam.

A prominent Somali sheikh in Nairobi, Kenya, used his Friday address to warn that Somalia is not 100% Muslim anymore and that many young Somalis are leaving Islam. He urged his listeners to do something about those who leave Islam or share Christianity on social media.

Another sheikh, exhorting his listeners to be on guard, cited a statistic that 24% of young Somalis leave Islam every year.

Somali Christians and those who minister to Somalis report a corresponding rise in threats and attacks against them, including one murder.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Praise God that many are turning to Him in faith.
  • Pray for the protection of believers in a nation which is very hostile towards the Gospel.
  • Pray that new believers will have an opportunity to grow in faith and that believers will have opportunities to meet.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

SOMALIA: Al-Shabaab Increases Terror Attacks

SOMALIA: Al-Shabaab Increases Terror Attacks

Somalia-based terrorist group al-Shabaab has overtaken Nigeria’s Boko Haram as Africa’s deadliest militant group, according to new figures from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED).

The data, compiled by the Africa Centre for Strategic Studies, showed that al-Shabaab was responsible for 4,281 casualties in 2016, compared to 3,499 by Boko Haram. The third group on the list was the Islamic State militant group, which was responsible for 2,350 deaths that year, Africa News reported.

Al-Shabaab, which has ties to al-Qaeda, is largely operational in Somalia with some incursions in neighbouring Kenya.

The group was responsible for the attack that killed nearly 150 students in Kenya’s Garissa University in April 2015. In 2013, al-Shabaab militants carried out a three-day siege, killing 67 people, at a shopping mall in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

Last year, The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) declared al-Shabaab as a transnational security threat in the East Africa region.

Sources: The Christian Times, International Christian Concern

  • Ask the Lord to hear the cries of the people in Somalia and Nigeria and deliver them from violence
    (Psalm 34:7).
  • Pray the Lord will frustrate the plans of these Islamist groups, remove the hatred from their hearts and bring many to conviction and repentance.
  • Pray the Lord will bring good from evil and draw many to Himself during this time of suffering and uncertainty.