By BosNewsLife Africa Service
MOGADISHU, SOMALIA (BosNewsLife)– Minority Christians in Somalia face new challenges after suspected Islamic militants managed to enter the capital Mogadishu where they murdered a young woman for openly professing her faith in Jesus Christ, BosNewsLife learned.
Sufia was at home with her parents when armed men, who were believed to belong to the al-Shabab group, burst into her home, Christians said.
Leaving her parents untouched, the men apparently grabbed Sufia, forcefully dragging the woman from the home at gunpoint. They reportedly publicly shot her, firing into the on-looking crowd as friends and neighbors tried to save her.
No more details or the last name of Sufia were released amid security concerns.
Sufia’s killers fled the scene and police so far did not detain suspects in last month’s murder.
Her death came shortly after two Somali lawmakers were assassinated in Mogadishu, within 24 hours of each other, in attacks claimed by the Somali militant group al-Shabab.
Somali officials said unidentified gunmen shot and killed parliament member Abdiaziz Isaak Mursal as he was leaving his home in the capital on April 22.
He was reportedly killed for allowing the “invasion of the Christians into Somalia,” refering to a lawmakers’ vote to accept financial support from Western governments and members of the African Union who have sent troops into Somalia to oppose Islamist rebel groups.
A day earlier, another legislator, Isaak Mohammed, was killed by a bomb hidden in his car. The explosion left another lawmaker seriously wounded.
PRIME MINISTER FURIOUS
Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed condemned the killings, saying the violence only strengthens Somalia’s resolve to defeat terrorism.
Among other known recent attacks against Christians was the murder of 41-year-old mother, Sadia Ali Omar, and her 35-year-old cousin, Osman Mohamoud Moge. They were beheaded in the port village of Barawa by al-Shabab on March 4.
Local residents, including Sadia’s two daughters, aged 8 and 15, “were called to witness” the executions after they “found out that they were Christians,” Christian aid workers said.
Al-Shabab says all Somalis are born Muslims, and those found practicing other faiths are considered guilty of “apostasy”, or leaving Islam, and should be put to death.
The Islamist group, which used to control huge swathes of Mogadishu, has been under pressure in recent weeks, as the African Union peacekeeping force, known as AMISOM, has reportedly reclaimed at least 10 towns previously controlled by the militants.
(BosNewsLife (2004-2014) is the first truly independent news agency covering persecuted Christians. It has been ‘Breaking the News for Compassionate Professionals’ since May 2004).
Please help BosNewsLife to remain a voice of the voiceless. Click here for a subscription.
Follow BosNewsLife via Twitter