Nathan Schneider

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Suffering in Somalia

The country of Somalia, a peninsula of northeast Africa, has a very small number of Christians.  Of the eight million residents, the number of Christians might be somewhere around 1,000.  There is no true government in Somalia, rather, the nation is run by competing warlords and militia groups.  For the Christians, there is no legal protection and most are threatened with persecution, often death.

According to the Voice of the Martyrs, recent fighting between Somalia militias and Ethiopia has heightened anti-Christian feelings.  They say that certain radicals, who vowed to “wipe out” all Somali Christians, have murdered many.  Just three weeks ago another Somali was murdered for his faith in Christ.  This from the Voice of the Martyrs:

On Nov. 14, the body of a 23-year-old Christian convert, Mumin Abdikarim Yusuf, was discovered in Mogadishu’s Yaqshid district, according to Compass Direct News.

On Oct. 28, members of an extremist group, detained Yusuf and searched his home for Christian materials. A 15-year-old boy had accused Yusuf of trying to convert him to Christianity.

In an attempt to gain evidence against Yusuf and to gain information about other Somali Christians, the extremists knocked out all of Yusuf’s front teeth and broke several of his fingers. They then shot him twice in the head and dumped his body on an empty residential street. Since it is unknown whether Yusuf revealed information about other Christians during his torture, the underground Christians who knew him have relocated for their safety. Yusuf’s family members are also in danger, as extremists have accused them of failing to report his conversion to Christianity.

Yusuf’s story is a sad reminder of the persecution happening around the world, but its also a reminder of the preciousness of our faith. The price Christians are willing to suffer for the “good news” is evidence of its value.  Certainly, the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.

“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.  Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His suffering, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”–Philippians 3:7-11

Most of us will never have to face martyrdom, but some of us might.  For those of us who live without the constant threat of losing our lives, the question we must answer is “If I cannot die for Christ, will I live for Him?”

Yusuf’s story can be found on the Voice of the Martyrs website.