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By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA (Worthy News)– This month, members of the militant al-Shabaab sect publicly executed a young man to death in southern Somalia simply because he was a Christian.

Since Somalis are considered Muslim by birth, leaving Islam is punishable by death, so after al-Shabaab's Islamists had determined that 28-year-old Hassan Hurshe had become a Christian while living in Kenya, they shot him upon his return to Jilib. After his execution, Hurshe's parents, widow and son fled the area, according to Morning Star News.

Although al-Shabaab has vowed to rid Somalia of every Christian, many Somali converts to Christ living safely in Kenya have risked returning home after government troops took territory back from Shabaab's insurgents last year. But after they were dislodged, the insurgents were suspected in the shooting death of Ali Jimale, a 42-year-old Christian and father of four while he stood outside his home in Alanley, according to Morning Star.

Last December, gunmen in Beledweyne killed Mursal Isse Siad, 55, a Christian who had received death threats for leaving Islam; a month earlier in the coastal city of Barawa, al-Shabaab militants beheaded 25-year-old Farhan Haji Mose after also accusing him of leaving Mohammad for Christ.

As with Hurshe, Mose drew al-Shabaab's suspicions when he returned to Barawa from Kenya.

Kenya's population is more than 80 percent Christian while Somalia is nearly 100 percent Muslim.

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