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Islamic al-Shabaab rebels in Somalia tracked down and killed an underground church leader on March 15 in Mahaday village after Madobe Abdi had previously escaped a kidnapping attempt on March 2. Madobe's death adds to a growing number of Christians murdered by Islamic militants, but his was distinctive in that he was not a convert from Islam. Madobe, an orphan, was raised as a Christian.

Burned home
Photo from Compass Direct

Last month, on the outskirts of Mogadishu, alleged members of the government-aligned Islamic Courts Union set fire to the house of another underground church member they suspected of having left Islam. Having learned that there was a Bible and Christian pamphlets inside, the angry militants stormed the house in Hamarwien district on February 17 as a warning to those who dare possess any Christian literature. The assailants looted the home before setting it afire. Area residents tried to extinguish the blaze, which left the house uninhabitable. "I saw smoke coming out of the house, then I ran outside and I saw two men coming out of the house with a bucket of gasoline," said a neighbour. "One of the men was shouting, 'Allah Akbar! Allah Akbar [God is Greater],' then they entered a waiting car and drove off." (Source: Compass Direct)

Pray for those mourning the loss of Madobe. Pray for safety for other believers in Somalia as they serve God. Pray that those who perpetrate violence against Christians in Somalia will repent and turn to faith in Jesus.

For more information on the suffering of believers in Somalia, go to the Somalia Country Report.