Somali Christians find that danger follows them wherever they go

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

NAIROBI, KENYA (Worthy News)-- Earlier this year, Islamists from al-Shabaab's militia fighting for control of Somalia razed Mohammed Abdi Mose's house in Mogadishu to ashes after he evacuated his family, the 54-year-old father of seven told Compass News.

"It was midnight and it was raining," he said. "Amid the bullets and mortar shells, I had four kids on me, and my wife had three kids on her ..."

About 150 people died that night, but Mose said it was no coincidence that his house was targeted; earlier that month, Muslim extremists confirmed that he was now a Christian and therefore worthy of death, so they tied his hands and began hitting him with sticks and metal objects.

After spending a month recovering from his injuries, the family fled to Lower Juba in March, then to Kismayo where they were closely monitored by al-Shabaab, so they left for Kenya in April, renting a donkey to carry their luggage and youngest child; it took them 18 days to travel the 230 miles to a town on the Kenyan side of the border where their donkey died from exhaustion.

For the next six months, the family lived in the Ifo camp in Dadaab where some al-Shabaab members threatened to kill him, so Somali Christian contacts in Kenya helped Mose move his family once again.

Having worked for NGOs, Mose was often singled-out by al-Shabaab, which views any worker of Western organizations as spies, causing his family to suffer discrimination not only from al-Shabaab, but from other Somali Muslims. Today that threat continues in an undisclosed location in Kenya where Mose's wife sells bread to feed their growing family: she is due to give birth to twins and the family fears she may be unable to continue her business while Mose continues to recover from his beatings.

"At the moment, I cannot do heavy work," he said. "I have a lot of pain in my lower abdomen which needs medical attention. My back is also not good. Indeed our situation is not promising, especially taking care of a family of nine as a refugee. If we get asylum, then it will save my family."