“Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word.” (Psalm 119:161)
News outlets report that a Somali woman who converted to Christianity was jailed, paraded in front of a crowd of hundreds of onlookers and whipped in public for her faith. Sofia Osman, a member of Somalia’s underground churches for 4 years. The Al Shabaab militia, an Islamic extremist militia, arrested Osman in November and released her on December 22nd for her public whipping:
“Osman was whipped 40 lashes at 3 p.m., but she didn’t tell what other humiliations she had suffered while in the hands of the militants,” an eyewitness, told Compass, adding that whipping left her bleeding. “I saw her faint. I thought she had died, but soon she regained consciousness and her family took her away.”
The whipping was administered in front of hundreds of spectators after Osman was released from her month-long custody in al Shabaab camps. Nursing her injuries at her family’s home, in the days after the punishment she would not talk to anyone and looked dazed, a source close in touch with the family said. She has since been relocated.”
This is just the latest in brutal attacks by Shabbab which by their own statements want to eradicate Christianity from the nation. As Barnabas Fund reports:
In recent times Somalia has veered between harsh Islamic rule and utter lawlessness, and the lack of an effective government has led the country into famine, war and relentless brutality. Christians are extremely vulnerable and can neither worship nor share their faith without extreme danger. The number of Somali Christians is very small, and many have been murdered in recent years by Somali Muslim radicals.
Continue in prayer for persecuted brothers and sisters in the faith who suffer all manner of injustice, torture and death just for their belief in Jesus Christ. And pray for the churches, forced to be “underground”, where services are held in secret in basements or other discreet locations. In many instances these churches are the only resource for miles and miles where someone can come and hear the message of eternal life and forgiveness in Jesus Christ. Ask God to strengthen, comfort and protect these believers.
For more information on how you can help, send letters of encouragement or support persecuted Christians and underground churches, visit the Voice of the Martyrs website at persecution.com.
“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:10