Somalia Suffers Worst Terrorist Attack in its History

Heartbreaking stories have been emerging from Somalia in the wake of the bombing…

At least 276 people have died in a deadly bomb attack on Saturday in what is being called Somalia’s worst terrorist attack in the country’s history.

BBC News reports that the massive bombing occurred in a busy part of Mogadishu, the country’s capital. No group has yet taken responsibility for the attack, although the al-Shabaab terrorist group is known for targeting the region.  

“The family is so shocked, especially our father who travelled all the way from London to attend her graduation, but instead he attended her burial,” said Maryam’s sister, Anfa’a.

Witnesses and survivors of the attack say it was unlike anything they’ve ever seen. Local resident Muhidin Ali said it was “the biggest blast I have ever witnessed, it destroyed the whole area.”

“What happened yesterday was incredible, I have never seen such a thing before, and countless people lost their lives. Corpses were burned beyond recognition,” added Mohamed Yusuf Hassan, the director of the Madina Hospital in Mogadishu.

Only 111 of the dead have been identified by family members. One hundred sixty-five others will be given a national mass funeral and buried by the government.

Heartbreaking stories have been emerging from Somalia in the wake of the bombing. One victim, Maryam Abdullahi, had been in medical school and was due to graduate the day after the bombing took place.

Maryam’s father had flown to Mogadishu to celebrate her graduation, but instead ended up mourning her death.

written by Veronica Neffinger

China Ramps Up Christian Persecution After Two Missionaries Are Murdered

Chinese officials have repeatedly targeted the country’s Christians and destroyed more than 1,000 church crosses in  2015 and 2016. 

After Muslim extremists murdered two Chinese missionaries, many hoped the Chinese government would take efforts to protect the country’s Christians. Instead, the government is cracking down on the spread of the gospel even more.

According to a BBC report, Meng Lisi and Li Xinheng  went to Balochistan, one of the most violent cities in Pakistan, to tell local Muslims about Jesus. However, they were met by violent extremists who murdered them in cold blood.

Now, the Chinese government is cracking down on Christians in their country. Chinese officials arrested four preachers from a church in the Zheijing province shortly after the murders. They later released them but they are banned from preaching the gospel and are prohibited from giving any media interviews.

Xinheng’s mother says she is “proud” of her son for sharing his faith, but is upset the Chinese government didn’t “save our children.”

Many suspect China’s economic interests in Pakistan are keeping them from condemning the terrorists who murdered its citizens. China is investing more than $55 billion in Pakistan, a key country in its plan to connect Asia and Europe with a new Silk Road.

Experts also say China’s atheistic government views its Christian missionaries as a problem.

“They thought Christianity was a western religion imported into China, so how can you export Christianity from China?” Says Fenggang Yang, an expert on religion in China at Purdue University.

“This is new and the Chinese authorities are still struggling to figure out what to do with this,” he added.

Chinese officials have repeatedly targeted the country’s Christians and destroyed more than 1,000 church crosses in  2015 and 2016.

However, despite the crackdown, the recent murders of the two Chinese missionaries reveals that not only is the church in China alive and well, believers are even trying to take the gospel beyond the country’s borders and to some of the most hostile parts of the world.