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Islamic Extremists Kill Somali Church Leader

Fifteenth Christian to be Assassinated This Year

Washington , D.C. (November 16, 2009) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that members of al-Shabaab (a Somali Islamic extremist group) have killed yet another leader of an underground church in the Somalia capital of Mogadishu .

On October 10, Pastor Ali Hussein Weheliye was returning home from worship service when two masked members of al-Shabaab ambushed and shot him. The Islamists left the pastor for dead. He was later taken to Darful Shifa Hospital where he died of bullet wounds on October 20.

Ali converted from Islam to Christianity in 1999 while working in Somalia ’s capital as a linguist. In 2002, he started pastoring an underground house church.

He is survived by his wife and a daughter who are now in hiding fearing for their lives.

Al-Shabaab has previously declared Somalia as an Islamic state vowing to eradicate Christians. This year alone, the group has killed over a dozen Somali Christians. Several Christians have also left the country due to the intense persecution. Despite the killings by al-Shabaab, the Somali church is growing rapidly.

ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa and South Asia, Jonathan Racho said “The underground church in Somalia is enduring untold suffering. Al-Shabaab and other Islamic extremist groups are hunting down and killing Christians. By killing Christians, the Islamic extremists have repeatedly demonstrated utter disregard to human life and freedom of religion.”

Please pray for God to comfort and strengthen Pastor Ali’s wife and daughter. Please pray for courage and wisdom to underground churches in Somalia .

ICC is a Washington-DC based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church. For additional information or for an interview, contact ICC at 800-422-5441.