In Somalia’s population of 8 million people, there are reported to be roughly a thousand Christians, with potentially a few thousand more in the diaspora.
The Islamist Shabab civilian army, which controls a large part of southern Somalia, is dedicated to finding and killing all remaining Christians.
Christians attend mosques on Fridays to avoid creating suspicion. The Bible’s books are kept hidden. There are no gatherings, much less a congregation. Churches and cemeteries dedicated to the Catholic faith have been demolished.
In 2007, the last nuns were expelled from Mogadishu, Somalia’s shattered capital. An old religious recluse who worked at a local medical clinic had been assassinated the year before. Somalis from the surrounding area are the main Christian devotees left.
Taking and killing these Christians provides the Shabab with useful publicity, not least for instilling in its young warriors and suicide-planes the belief that the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Vatican, Ethiopia, and Kenya are all “crusaders” attempting to convert Somalis to Christianity.
The United Nations trails obnoxiously close behind.
Clearly, Israel is likewise working to defame Islam. Sheik Sharif Ahmed’s unstable transitional administration, whose authority stretches pitifully over the territory that the Shabab does not yet control, is unlikely to support any residents armed with a Bible. Despite his claims to balance, he supports a version of Sharia Law in which every Somali is born a Muslim and anyone who converts to another faith is forced to renounce their faith, which is punishable by death.
Several Somalis are often executed because they are Christians. Sometimes, jihadists just name people who they believe are striving for Ethiopian enlightenment with that moniker.
In any case, there are a lot of fundamentalists. At least 13 persons from underground houses of worship have been assassinated in the last few months, according to Somali sources and Christian groups investigating Somalia from abroad. Evangelists had converted the majority of the Mennonites along the Juba River in southern Somalia.