The Al Shabaab insurgents in Somalia have conscripted the children of the murdered Christian man Osman Abdullah Fataho for military training.
The United Kingdom (UK) based Christian charity organization, Release International (RI) www.releaseinternational.org, in a recent report said that Fataho and his entire family were kidnapped some few months back, but that they later released the wife and children - Ali 5, Fatuma 7, Sharif 10 and Nur 15, while they shot him dead.
According to RI stated that the children will be forcibly converted to Islam and turned into child soldiers adding that Fataho, who was deeply involved in the activities of his secret Christian community, is reported to have been raised as a Muslim – making him an obvious target for Al Shabaab.
“The insurgents are determined to extend Sharia or strict Islamic law across Somalia – and are actively targeting Christians, murdering at least 15 of them last year alone. Al Shabaab recently outlawed bell-ringing at the end of school classes – because it evoked the sound of church bells,” it stated.
It noted that this and other instances of anti-Christian violence have forced several leaders of Somalia's underground Christian movement to flee their homes and go into hiding.
According to RI, the incident has spread fear among Christians in this lawless country, much of which lies in the grip of ruthless insurgent’s intent on rooting out any person professing Christianity. "Leaders of the Christian underground movement have been forced to flee their homes to avoid being killed by the insurgents."
Open Doors Prayer Communications team www.opendoorsuk.org in its own report said that this year, Al-Shabaab insurgents have already murdered four Christians in separate incidents, targeting those who have converted from Islam or are active in their faith.
“Please pray that Fataho's children will be protected from harm and from false teaching, and that they would be returned to their home and their mother soon. Pray also for courage and protection for the Christian leaders forced to flee their homes,” it also added.