Farhan Haji Mose was cut in two this past Friday. His crime was conversion from Islam to Christianity. He was 25.
Beheaded before he was severed, Farhan was executed before a crowd of Muslims and Christians. His body was dumped on a beach in the Somali port city of Barawa, where it was found by a local fisherman.
Farhan became a Christian in 2010 while visiting Kenya on a business trip. For this, his killers accused him of being a spy and joining a “foreign religion.”
Al Shabaab is the name of the terrorist/Islamist organization that murdered Farhan. They run much of southern Somalia, arguably the world’s most lawless state. Among their most notorious achievements:
• They have “claimed responsibility for twin bombings that killed more than 70 people in Kampala, Uganda (NYT) during the World Cup final on July 11, 2010” (Source).
• They prevented international aid from getting to the starving people of Somalia during the recent famine.
• It is likely that al Shabaab is responsible for a “grenade explosion killed seven people and wounded another 24 on Sunday (November 18) in a predominantly Somali neighborhood of Nairobi.”
Morning Star News reports that “al Shabaab rebels have killed dozens of Christian converts from Islam since embarking on a campaign to rid Somalia of Christianity. The insurgents, variously estimated at 3,000 to 7,000, seek to impose a stricter version of sharia (Islamic law) on Somalia.”
Rimsha Masih, a young, mentally-challenged Pakistani woman, was freed from prison earlier today after charges that she burned pages of the Quran were found baseless and then dropped. International pressure on the government of Pakistan played a role, as did the common decency (or political concerns) of Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari and various Muslim religious leaders. Rimsha is a Christian.
Asia Bibbi, a young Pakistani Christian wife and mother of five, was arrested and imprisoned in 2010 for “blasphemy” against Islam (she talked to some friends about her faith in Jesus). She is under a death sentence, but thus far Pakistani fear of international outrage has surmounted the brutality of its courts and religious laws.
One Christian murdered. Another freed. Another left dangling over the mouth of death.
Why has God allowed their lives to be so disposed? Why has He let one captive go free, kept another in prison, and allowed a third to be horrifically murdered?
We don’t know, other than that He is God and is sovereign, loving, just, and deeper in His wisdom and working than we can begin to comprehend. Yet whatever He permits, however small or large, significant or seemingly unimportant, He is intersecting every event in every life to accomplish purposes which are, for now, obscure to us. But He never leaves, never forsakes. He does not exempt us from pain. Rather, He is with us in it.
May God have mercy on the killers of Farhad and give great comfort to his family. May He protect Rimsha Masih and her family; they can no longer go back to their village for fear of reprisal. And may He strengthen and sustain Asia Bibbi as she awaits the liberty that is rightfully hers.
Last week, FRC partnered with our friends at Voice of the Martyrs to highlight the suffering of Christians throughout the world, Christians whose only “crime” is owning Jesus as Savior and Lord. You can watch it here, and be inspired to take the action steps given at the end to help defend our brothers and sisters in Christ whose lives are at risk simply for following the God of the universe.
“Be faithful unto death,” said the Lord Jesus, “and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). Farhad Haji Mose has now been crowned with a life no force on earth or hell can ever take away from him. It will be joyous to meet him someday.
Rob Schwarzwalder is senior vice president of the Family Research Council.
Publication date: November 21, 2012