Christians Targeted in Iraq, Somalia Attacks

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Iraqi Christians have faced ongoing violence in recent months and more attacks are expected as Islamic extremists work to drive them from their homes.

Three Christians and a Muslim were killed in a church bombing this week on Palestine Street in eastern Baghdad.

Iraqi Abu Mohammed, who witnessed the July 12 attack, said a car bomb exploded in front of the church around 7 p.m. as Christians were praying inside. 

Eighteen people were also injured and three other churches were hit just 2 1/2 hours earlier, wounding eight people.

Carl Moeller of the Christian outreach group Open Doors USA says those responsible for these attacks are becoming more and more difficult to stop, especially in Somalia.  Still, he says faith in God among believers has not faultered.  Click play for his comments.

Across town, bombs also exploded in western Baghdad, around midnight Saturday but no one was hurt.

The string of attacks have forced many to flee their homes in hopes of saving their family.

So far, Christian numbers in Iraq have dwindled from nearly 1 million a decade ago to less than half a million today.

Meanwhile, in the east African nation of Somalia, Muslim insurgents linked to al Qaeda beheaded seven Christians.

Reuters reported July 10 members of the al Shabaab group accused the Christians of "spying" and "abandoning Islam."

The public execution in the southern city of Baidoa was the largest mass execution by Islamists in Somalia in recent years.

Last September, 25-year-old aid worker Mansuur Mohammed --a convert to Christianity--  was also beheaded by the al Shabaab extremists.

The same group beheaded two sons of another Somali convert to Christianity earlier this year.

*Originally aired July 17, 2009

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