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Somali church survives Islamist occupation

While the Union of Islamic Courts controlled Mogadishu, the militia group demanded that all schools teach Arabic and that all men should grow beards and pray at the nearest mosque five times per day, said Abdul, a Somali minister who requested that his full name not be used.
The handful of members of the Mogadishu Church of Christ were scattered during the occupation, which ended when Ethiopian-backed government troops drove the Islamists from the city in early January.
Abdul fled to Nairobi, Kenya, briefly but returned to Somalia to assist a church member who miscarried a baby and was suffering health problems.
Abdul and the church members who remained in Mogadishu met in secret during the occupation.
“They tried to remove God’s light … through persecutions and threats,” Abdul said, but “we were ever hopeful of God’s care and delivery.”

Filed under: International Staff Reports

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