House Church Members Flee Somaliland Amid Government Crackdown

By BosNewsLife Center

HARGEISA, SOMALIA (BosNewsLife) — Members of a in the breakaway Somali republic of Somaliland have fled to neighboring Ethiopia after hearing that the government wants to arrest them as part of a crackdown on evangelical Christians, an influential group said Thursday, January 24.

US-based International Concern (ICC) with Website said the pastor of the in Somaliland’s capital Hargeisa stayed behind. ICC said the pastor, who it wrongly identified as Mohammed "for reasons", is being monitored around the clock by Somaliland security officials since his release last year from prison, where he was reportedly tortured by security personnel.

A representative of Somaliland to the , Saad Noor, has reportedly denied the pastor was persecuted, saying there are no Christians in the republic. Somaliland, which wants to separate from Somalia, has not been recognized by the international community, though it has had a functioning government since 1991 and declared independence.


ICC, which has close contacts in the region, quoted local sources as saying that Somaliland’s Criminal Investigation Department is currently infiltrated by "Islamic Jihadists who have compiled a list containing the names of several Somali church leaders whom they have vowed to eliminate using the Somaliland justice system."

The "anti-Christian Islamic militants" are allegedly members "of the fundamentalist Salafi movement which gave birth to [terror network] ," ICC said.

ICC’s Regional Manager for , Darara Gubo, said that "Somaliland should prove to the international community that it is a democratic country where freedom of is upheld. The international community should closely monitor and condemn the activities of Islamic fundamentalists who have infiltrated the security forces of Somaliland."

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