An advocacy organization is calling for action from the international community in response to the humanitarian crisis in Somalia.

The famine in Somalia has already claimed the lives of thousands and continues to leave millions in desperate need of the basics. But despite the crisis, an Islamic group is halting the distribution of food. International Christian Concern (ICC) reports that al-Shabaab is working to remove Christianity from the country and is preventing food and aid from reaching the people. Southern Somalia is especially hard-hit because of the group’s oppressive influence in the region.

Jonathan Racho, regional manager for Africa with ICC, tells OneNewsNow that at least 18 Christians have died of starvation in the last three months.

“Our Christian sources are telling us that al-Shabaab is using its influence and its control of the area in order to stop people whom it suspects of belonging to the underground church,” he reports. “That is the area of famine where most people are not reporting on.”

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