Sunday, 6/29/23- Day of the Christian Martyr

 (Voice of the Martyrs, ( According to church tradition, June 29 marks the martyrdom of the Apostle Paul. This year, Christians around the world will take time on June 29 and throughout that weekend to honor the legacy of those who have sacrificed their lives for the advancement of the gospel.  This year, the Christian martyr being honored and remembered is Abdiwelli Ahmed.

Abdiwelli Ahmed descended from a long line of devout Muslims from Somalia, where “to be Somali means to be Muslim.” He was taught that Islam was in his blood. But in 1993, while in college, he began questioning Islam and comparing the Quran to the Bible.

The more Abdiwelli read the Bible, the more he fell in love with it. After many discussions with a Christian friend, he put his trust in Jesus Christ. When other students and faculty learned that he had left Islam, they considered Abdiwelli dangerous to their faith.

“I was beaten up,” Abdiwelli said. “All sorts of bad things were done to me. My life was in danger.”

Eventually, he sought guidance from a relative, Pastor Ibrahim, who had years of experience sharing the gospel with Somali Muslims. Ibrahim took Abdiwelli to a campus ministry center, where he met a woman from Nigeria named Helen.

“When I first met Abdiwelli,” Helen said, “he told me, ‘I love the Lord and I’m ready to die for Christ.’”

Eventually, the two married and served the Somali people through an agriculture-development ministry and boldly shared the gospel with them.

“When we received death threats,” his wife Helen would say later, “We’d pray together and that would give us peace, because God said he would be with us.”

At noon on Feb. 7, 2013, 20 years after Abdiwelli placed his faith in Christ, three assassins shot him to death as he talked with a pastor in the center of town.

Despite her great loss and sadness, Helen said she knew God would use her husband’s martyrdom to advance his kingdom. “We have a triumphant God,” she said. “We know God is going to triumph in this situation.”