Somalia: 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 al-Shabaab, an Islamic extremist group, detained Yusuf and searched his home for Christian materials. A 15-year-old Muslim 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 Muslim family members are also in danger, as extremists have accused them of failing to report his conversion to Christianity. The Voice of the Martyrs supports persecuted Christians through a project to assist evangelists and encourage converts from Islam. Pray for all those mourning the death of this brother in the Lord. Pray for safety for the relocated believers. Pray that Yusuf’s faithful witness will be a testimony to his Muslim family members and that they will turn to Jesus for their salvation.
The mostly elderly women were praying together at a house when security forces rounded them up and hauled them off to police station one in Asmara. Their children and grandchildren told our sources that they are concerned about the safety of their loved ones.
Most of the detainees are members of Faith Mission Church, an Evangelical Church with a Methodist background. The church has been carrying out evangelistic and development activities in Eritrea for over five decades and was forced to go underground in 2002 after Eritrean officials required all religious groups to register. The officials then allowed only three Christian denominations to register. The three registered churches are: the Eritrean Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran Evangelical Church of Eritrea.
Since 2002, officials of Eritrea have been cracking down on members of both registered and unregistered churches. They have imprisoned more than 3000 Christians keeping them in underground dungeons, mental shipping containers, and military barracks. Several Christians have died inside prisons due to torture and lack of medical attention.
ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa and South Asia, Jonathan Racho said “We condemn the arrest of the 30 women by Eritrean officials. We urge officials of Eritrea to release the detainees and all the imprisoned Christians in the country. We call upon Eritrea to stop violating the freedom of religion of its people.”
Please pray for the safety of the imprisoned women, their release from prison, and for the release of all the imprisoned Christians in Eritrea.
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