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A 17-year-old woman from the Gedo Region of Somalia has faced severe abuse and pressure from her Muslim family since May 10, when they discovered that she had converted to Christianity. Nurta Mohamed Farah was badly beaten by her family and later taken to a doctor who prescribed medication for a "mental illness." When she refused to abandon her faith, she was forced to take the medication. Islamic scripture was recited to her twice a week, as Somalis traditionally believe that the Qur'an cures the sick -- especially the mentally ill. Since the medication and punishments have failed to change Nurta's mind, she has been shackled to a tree during the day and held in a small, dark room at night. "There is little the community can do about her condition, which is very bad," a Christian source said. "I have advised our community leader to keep monitoring her condition but not to meddle for their own safety.... We need prayers and human advocacy for such inhuman acts, and for freedom of religion for the Somali people." (Source: Compass Direct)

Ask God to embolden and encourage Nurta as she suffers for her faith. Pray that her steadfast commitment to Christ will soften the hearts of her parents so that they too will know the Lord. Pray for wisdom and guidance for the Christian community in Somalia. Pray that religious freedom will be respected in this nation.

To learn more about the plight of Somali Christians, please visit the Somalia Country Report.