2019 WORLD WATCH LIST NO. 3SOMALIA
World Watch List:03
Leader:President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed
Christian:a few Hundreds
Source of Persecution:Islamic Oppression
Born Muslim, Dies Muslim
Somalia is made up of competing clans that have their own militias. These clans all identify strongly with Islam and their own tribe. Changing religion, for example to Christianity, is a betrayal of Islam, as well as the family and the clan. It is a very serious offence. Some Somalis have the opinion that a ‘Somali is born Muslim and dies Muslim’. Even in Somaliland where there seems to be no Islamic militant activity, Christians are persecuted just as much because of the strong Islamic identity.
Ever since the collapse of the central government in 1991, violent Islamic radical groups have had a free reign in the country; the biggest and most dangerous of which is al-Shabaab. Back then, a committee was formed to search for and execute all Somali Christians in Somalia and its neighboring countries. Currently, the new government set up in 2012 only has control of some towns and cities, while al-Shabaab rules many of the rural areas. The group targets and kills Somalis who are suspected of being converts to Christianity.
No safe place
There is no safe place for Christians in the country as they face horrific challenges from their family, community, and also from al-Shabaab. Even just the suspicion of having become a Christian would result in harassment, threats, and sometimes even death from family members and clan leaders.
OPEN DOORS IN SOMALIA
Open Doors supports Somali believers through:
• Advocacy and awareness
• Community development
• That the Lord will continue to build His Kingdom there despite the hostilities. Pray that there will be more laborers for the harvest there, who are wise and have grace to daily express God’s love.
• That the influence of al-Shabaab and other militant groups will diminish, and that the government has the wisdom and courage to fight against them.
• For vibrant fellowship among Somali believers even though their numbers are small and the dangers are great. Pray for mature and godly role models among the believers.