The 1963 constitution of Somalia said, "It is unlawful to spread any religion except Islam, the true religion." It was this law that led to Musa's arrest.

Musa, a Somali, had heard about Christ and had accepted him while he was in Ethiopia. He also received training there from a missionary doctor for dispensary work.

When Musa returned to Somalia, he worked in a dispensary. Even though it was illegal, he could not help telling others of his Savior while he worked. The news spread that there was an unusual person in town--a Christian Somali.

The police began to watch him closely to see if they could catch him preaching. A person that Musa considered a friend informed the police that Musa had a book in his house called How to Lead a Muslim to Christ. The police came to the dispensary and took Musa to his house. When they found the book, they arrested Musa and charged him with trying to destroy the religion of his country.

On the day of Musa's trial, 600 curious people filled the courtroom. The judge said to him, "You are accused of being a Christian. What do you say to this?"

Musa stood and spoke in a clear voice, "It's true, Your Honor. I'm a disciple of Jesus, and I will remain one, even if you imprison me or kill me." This made the crowd angry. They began to stomp their feet, whistle, and call out, "Put him in prison!"

Musa prayed silently, "Thank you, Lord, for letting me witness to you in this way."

The judge said, "Because you have admitted you're a Christian, because this book was found in your house, and because we've been told that you're trying to spread this religion, you are sentenced to six months in prison. Or you can pay a fine."

Musa could not pay his fine and so he went to prison. Usually when a person could not pay, his clan would free him by paying the fine for him. But Musa's clan sent this message to him: "If you were in prison for killing someone, we would pay your fine and have you released. But we can't do it for your crime. Such a crime has never been committed before."

The chief of another clan was also in prison for having led his clan in fighting an enemy clan. When he heard about Musa, the chief said to the other prisoners, "Let's get this 'unbeliever.' We'll make him do the dirtiest jobs." So on his first day in prison, they made Musa clean the toilets. The next day, they looked on in astonishment as Musa went and voluntarily cleaned the toilets.

The news spread: "There's a Somali in prison for saying in court that he's a Christian." The governor of the province came to the prison to see this strange case.

"How can a Somali be put in prison for being a Christian?" he asked. "You must be crazy!"

Musa spoke to the governor about his faith. When the governor left, he ordered that Musa be provided with medicines so that he could give medical care to the other prisoners.

Before long, the prison guards came to respect Musa. They even gave him all the prison keys so that he could go wherever necessary. He found that in prison he could do what lie was forbidden to do on the outside--witness to his faith. He could speak of Jesus, not only to the other prisoners, but also to the important visitors who came to question him.

All this attention that Musa began receiving made his fellow prisoner, the old chief, even more angry. But Musa always treated him politely.

Then he discovered that the chief liked to know what was going on in the outside world. However, the chief couldn't read the newspaper which was printed in Italian. So Musa began sitting with him each day to read and explain the news to him.

"Musa," said his former tormentor one day, "if I get out of prison first, I'm going to pay your fine." And he did. Musa was freed, went back to his job at the dispensary, and saved his money so he could repay the chief.


From: They loved their enemies by Marian Hostetler, pag. 63-65, 1988, Herald Press,  Scottdale, Pa, USA