American Teacher Executed in Yemen 'Loved His Job'
A young American English teacher who was executed by Muslims accusing him of proselytizing in Yemen was described by family and friends as someone who "loved his job" and had a heart for the poor. Officials said a motorcycle gunman and an accomplice pulled alongside the vehicle that Joel Shrum was riding in March 18 and opened fire.
Shrum was on his way to work in the city of Taiz at the time of the attack. The 29-year-old served as deputy director of the Swedish Institute, a language school, and spent time offering vocational training in some of Yemen's poor areas. "He was just motivated by especially seeing people coming out of poverty," Shrum's father, James, said Sunday night.
The assailants escaped after the shooting, but an al Qaeda-linked group quickly claimed responsibility for the attack. "This operation comes as a response to the campaign of Christian proselytizing that the West has launched against Muslims," an unidentified person claiming responsibility on behalf of the group Ansar al-Sharia said in a text message to journalists. The group, whose name means "Partisans of Islamic Law," also called Shrum "one of the biggest American proselytizers."
Last week, Saudi Arabia's highest Islamic authority said no Christian churches should be allowed in the Arabian Peninsula, which includes Yemen.
Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah said the Islamic prophet Mohammad taught that there cannot be two religions on the Peninsula and that only Islam should exist there.
Violence has increased in Yemen since President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi took office in February, vowing to stop al Qaeda. The Islamic group has increased attacks in Yemen as a result.
Yemen: Al-Qaeda on the Move
SUMMARY: A group of about 200 al-Qaeda terrorists has taken control of Rada, a city just 130 kilometers south of Yemen's capital. Opposition leaders have accused President Saleh of allowing al-Qaeda to advance in order to convince the public that he should remain in office. Saleh is supposed to step down in February.
“Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (a terrorist group affiliated with al-Qaeda) seized the Yemeni city of Rada on January 16, 2012. Though the militants have controlled a number of towns in the south, this is the closest they have come to the capital of Sana'a. According to "The Australian," "Many sleeper cells of the terror network are thought to be located" in this area.
According to ABC News, "Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula now controls seven population centers in Southern Yemen."
· Ask the Lord to raise up leaders who will govern with integrity and in the fear of the Lord. (The Bible, Daniel 2:21)
· Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to be defeated. Pray for the salvation of leaders and members. (The Bible, 1 Timothy 2:1-4)
· The people of Yemen to be set free from the bondage of Islam. Pray for the Lord to open their hearts and minds so they will know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. (The Bible, II Corinthians 4:3,4)
· This time of unrest to become an open door for the Gospel. Pray for Yemenis to be receptive to the Good News of Jesus Christ. (The Bible, Roman 1:16)
The Kingdom of God to come to Yemen with miracles, signs, wonders, dreams, and visions. (The Bible, Acts 2:17)”