Somalia (MNN) — Early in January, a Somali mother of four was violently slaughtered by Islamic extremists from al Shabaab militia, reports Compass Direct News. The woman's throat was slit after she converted to Christianity.
Somalia is the fifth worst country for believers to live in, according to the World Watch List. It holds the worst record for persecution in all of Africa, and al Shabaab members have reportedly vowed to wipe out Somalia's Christian population.
The violence incurred on the Somali mother, then, is not altogether uncommon. Believers have to be careful with their faith to ensure their own safety. Evangelist Sammy Tippit has seen the results of the persecuted church firsthand.
Tippit recently ventured into the dangerous country after Somali believers found the Sammy Tippit Ministries Web site and pleaded for help. Tippit entered the country with an Iranian believer who could easily relate to the intense persecution Somali Christians are presently facing.
Tippit describes the atmosphere among believers in Somalia: "First of all, there's such a minority of believers in the area we were in. In fact, in a region of about 3 million people, there were only about 14 believers."
Despite the extremely low numbers, these brothers and sisters are still unsafe. "They have to be careful who they talk to about their faith and what they say, because their lives are in danger," explains Tippit. "They're very courageous. They're meeting quietly, and they're trying to be good citizens within the country."
While in Somalia, Tippit and other believers began to discuss ways Sammy Tippit Ministries could assist these believers. Tippit discovered that resources for these new Christians are thin. Certain regions of the country do not even have the Bible in their dialects.
As a result, the ministry has come up with several ways to help Somali Christians. The ministry is partnering with Bible translation ministries to ensure that these dialects get their own Bibles. More immediately, a Web site in their languages will be developed with multiple resources to encourage Christian growth.
"We will, probably within the next few months, develop a Web site that will have discipleship materials, basic things that can be accessed–because carrying around a Bible in that part of the world can be very dangerous," says Tippit.
Pray that these new resources will encourage and grow the church in Somalia. Pray that the Lord would give Sammy Tippit Ministries wisdom as they create this Web site, to ensure that no Christians are harmed as a result of it. Pray for wisdom and safety for believers in Somalia as they spread the Gospel and live out their Christian faith.