By BosNewsLife Africa Service
MOGADISHU, SOMALIA (BosNewsLife)– Christians in Somalia were mourning another victim of Islamic extremism Thursday, February 24, while at sea new details emerged about the killing of Americans involved in Bible distribution to often remote areas of the world.
The Somali Islamic group Al-Shabaab reportedly claimed responsibility for the January 26 killing of Christian convert from Islam, Abdirahman Hussein Roble, after accusing him of spying and creating ‘fitna’, or religious discord, among Muslims. Another Christian convert escaped from Al-Shabaab’s detention on January 29, said advocacy group International Christian Concern (ICC).
Fitna is an Islamic term used to derogatorily describe Christian evangelism among Muslims, Christians said.
“On February 9, two eye witnesses notified Abdirahman’s widow and relatives about his murder. Abdirahman, who converted to Christianity in 2009, was the father of two children. Abdirahman is the twenty-fourth Christian to be killed by the Somali Islamists since 2009,” ICC added.
It came amid reports questioning the decision by the United States Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) to seize two pirate chiefs amid hostage negotiations off the coast of Somalia, after four Americans, involved in Bible distribution, were killed on their 58-foot yacht earlier this week.
One person who has talked to associates of the pirates said their leader had told them that if he did not return, they should kill the hostages, though American officials say they do not know that to be the case, the New York Times newspaper reported Thursday, February 24.
The FBI is investigating the killings of Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle of Seattle, Washington, and Jean and Scott Adam of Marina del Rey, near Los Angeles, who had made their home aboard the 58-foot yacht since December 2004.
A friend and former professor of Scott Adam said he wanted to combine his love of adventure with his Christian faith by spreading bibles around the world.
Professor Robert K. Johnston of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena told The Associated Press news agency that Adam — who last year earned a master of theology degree from the school — was “sailing around the world and serving God, two of his passions.”
Adam, now in his mid-60s, had been an associate producer in Hollywood when he turned in a spiritual direction and enrolled in the seminary a decade ago, Johnston said. “He decided he could take his pension, and he wanted to serve God and humankind…,” he said.
Johnston and Adam worked together to start a film and theology institute. Adam also taught a class on church and media at the school.
Since 2004, the Adams lived on their yacht in Marina Del Rey for about half the year and the rest of the year they sailed around the world, often distributing Bibles in remote parts of the Fiji Islands, Alaska, New Zealand, Central America and French Polynesia, Johnston said.
The killings were expected to further add also to concerns among Christian aid workers in the region where Al-Shabaab has pledged to establish a strict Islamic state and crackdown on Christianity.