Al-Shabaab, an Islamic militant group, has executed a Christian convert in the coastal city of Barawa, Somalia. Farhan Haji Mose, age 25, was beheaded on Friday morning, Nov. 16, when Islamic extremists accused him of being a spy and for "embracing the foreign religion of Christianity," according to Morning Star News.
While in Kenya in 2010, Mose converted to Christianity. After returning to Somalia in Dec. 2011, al-Shabaab monitored Mose's movements. After discovering his conversion, the extremist group captured Mose and publicly executed him. According to a count by BosNewsLife, Mose is the fourth Christian known to have been beheaded in Somalia since September of last year.
According to Christian sources interviewed by Morning Star News said, "His body was split in two, carried away, only to be dumped near the beach of Barawa." Mose's family did not recover the body after the execution because they feared they would be killed for their association with Mose.
So far, al-Shabaab has not officially responded to the execution of Mose, but the group is known to be extremely hostile to Christians found in Somalia. According to local Christians, members of the terrorist group have publicly flogged and paraded other Christian converts. It is estimated that al-Shabaab has killed dozens of Christian converts in similar fashion, but accurate reporting is difficult to verify from the troubled country.
Al-Shabaab continues to lose ground to African Union forces in Somalia, but in areas where the group maintains control, they terrorize non-Muslim populations. According to the advocacy group Release International, there are fewer than 31,000 Christians in Somalia. Many have fled the country and those that remain are forced to worship in secret or else risk a fate similar to Mose's.
Even if al-Shabaab is eventually defeated and the UN-backed transitional government rules the nation, many are still concerned for the Christian population in Somalia. According to Christian rights activists, the transitional government also embraces a form of Sharia that calls for the death of individuals that convert from Islam.
"Al-Shabaab is an Islamic extremist group that has vowed to make Somalia a 'purely Islamic state.' The group adheres to an extremely harsh interpretation of shariah that includes the beheading of converts from Islam and the removal of hands from thieves. The terrorist group continues to terrorize Christians in both Somalia and neighboring countries," says William Stark, International Christian Concern's Regional Manager for Africa.
"In Kenya, suspected al-Shabaab militants have attacked Christians at their places of worship. On November 4, a grenade slammed through the roof of a church connected to an Administrative Police Building in Garissa, Kenya as church members were gathered for worship. More has to be done to protect the small and extremely vulnerable population of Christians in Somalia. The practice of killing converts from Islam must be addressed by the international community and should have no place in modern society."