Somalia (MNN) — Juma Nuradin Kamil, a Christian convert from Islam, was kidnapped and found in early September decapitated on the outskirts of Hudur City in southwestern Somalia. A contact of Compass Direct News was recently able to confirm the murder.
On August 21, Kamil was forced into a car by three men who, according to Open Doors, USA, many suspect to have been Islamic extremists from terrorist group al Shabaab. Members of Kamil's community looked for him until they finally found his body in the middle of a street.
The kidnapping and subsequent murder appear to be the work of al Shabaab militants, based on how it was carried out. Al Shabaab, a militant group with ties to al Qaeda, has an estimated membership ranging from 3,000 to 7,000. Muslim extremists from al Shabaab have vowed to rid Somalia of Christianity and seek to impose a strict version of sharia, or Islamic law.
Church leaders confirm that al Shabaab often decapitates Muslims they suspect to have embraced the Christian faith, or those who appear to sympathize with Western ideals.
Kamil had been a believer for three years. Many believe al Shabaab had been monitoring him for some time.
Based on the terror-linked nature of the attack, area Christians were initially afraid to bury Kamil's body. They did not want al Shabaab extremists seeing them associated with a newly-discovered convert to Christianity. The body thus lay in the open for two days, until an unknown group reportedly buried him in secret.
It's a dangerous time for Christians in Somalia who not only face ongoing threats from al Shabaab, but whose own government is against them. While proclaiming himself a moderate, President Sheikh Sharif Sheik Ahmed has embraced a version of sharia that mandates the death penalty for those who leave Islam.
Somalia ranks number 5 on the 2011 Open Doors World Watch List of countries where the persecution of Christians is most severe.
Pray for believers on the underground to continue to stand up boldly for their faith and to continue to proclaim the Truth of Christ, whatever the consequences. Pray for those who mourn the loss of Kamil, that his family and fellow believers might have peace and remain safe.