Al-Qaeda Linked to Execution of Somali Christians

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Muslim insurgents with links to Al-Qaeda are believed to be responsible for the beheading of seven Christians in Somalia. 

It is the latest example of the strict Sharia law movement.
    
Reuters reported that Al-Qaeda accused the Christians of "spying and abandoning Islam."

Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors USA, talked to CBN News about how the Christian church survives in an enviromment of radical Islamic groups. Click the player to watch.

"Al Shabaab told us that they were beheaded for reasons they described as being Christian followers and spies," said one relative, who gave his name only as Aden, after the executions in the south central town of Baidoa.

It is the largest mass execution carried out by Muslim extremists in Somalia in recent years.

The public killings were held last week in the southwestern town of Baidoa.  The executions came after weeks of fierce fighting between extremists and government forces.

"Those who come to Christ in Somalia do so at a huge risk," said Open Doors USA president Carl Moeller. "Most of them are Muslim Background Believers who face unbelievable pressure and persecution, even death as reported last weekend."

The group beheaded three people in the same region of the country last month. They have also forced women to wear veils and amputated limbs as a punishment for theft.

Islam is believed to be practiced by 99.95 percent of Somalians. A handful of Somali Christians inside the country have been forced underground and others have fled to neighboring countries.
    
The Muslim extremists are repelling attacks by the government to kick them out of Somalia's capital of Mogadishu.

"Somalia desperately needs our prayers as conditions deteriorate," Moeller said. "This country needs both physical and spiritual nourishment. Please join me in praying for the tremendous needs of Somalia and for the few brave believers inside the country."

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