Al-Shabaab strikes again

By February 24, 2014

(Graphic courtesy VOM Canada)

Somalia (MNN) — An attack on the presidential palace in Somalia has left nine people dead. Al-Shabaab militants dressed in military fatigues and carrying heavy arsenal assaulted the home of Somalia’s president and prime minister on Friday.

According to the Associated Press, radicals first set off a car bomb and then fired on palace guards. The president survived, but two government officials were killed.

On Twitter, Somalian authorities called the bombing “another act of desperation from a dying animal.”  But, as Voice of the Martyrs Canada spokesman Greg Musselman observes, “We know that a wounded animal can be its most dangerous.

“Al-Shabaab is a group that is trying to take over Somalia, turn it into a radical, militant, Islamic state.”

In Arabic, “al-Shabaab” means “the youth.” The jihadist group has its roots in Somalia but is also active in neighboring nations. Last fall, they claimed responsibility for the Nairobi Mall massacre. 

(Photo courtesy Assist News)

(Photo courtesy Assist News)

Terrorists belonging to al-Shabaab annihilate anyone and anything that stand between them and a purely Islamic state. In their pursuit of this goal, militants have killed scores of Somalian Christians.

The Church in Somalia is very small, and believers practice their faith underground, for obvious security reasons. Despite their ever-diminishing size, Somali Christians remain an al-Shabaab target; Musselman says Muslim Background Believers (MBBs) are especially at-risk.

Somalia moved up on the Open Doors World Watch List this year, from #5 to #2.

Since Somalia’s Islamic government doesn’t like believers either, Christians are left with very few options. And yet, “God is working in Somalia,” says Musselman.

Working through their partners in neighboring nations like Ethiopia, VOM Canada is able to support Somalian believers with spiritual and physical resources. For more details and to find out how you can support Somalia’s Persecuted Church, click here.

Pray that Somalia’s underground church would not be ruled by fear. Pray that believers will operate with wisdom so the Gospel can still go forth.

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