2020 WORLD WATCH LIST #3SOMALIA
2020 WORLD WATCH LIST RANK: 3
LEADER: President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed
POPULATION: 15.6 million
CHRISTIAN POPULATION: a few hundreds
MAIN RELIGION: Islam
PERSECUTION LEVEL: Extreme
PERSECUTION SOURCE: Islamic Oppression
Open Doors supports Somali believers through:
• Advocacy and awareness
• Community development
Somalia remains mired in ceaseless civil war, social fragmentation, tribalism and violent Islamic militancy. The pressure on Christians has remained at an extreme level and violence has been very high. Militant Islamic group al-Shabaab are in control of most parts of rural Somalia. The group hunts down Christians, especially those in leadership position. Many believers have been killed on the spot when discovered by the group.
Betraying family and clan
Leaving Islam and converting to Christianity is regarded as a betrayal of the Somali family and clan. Local chiefs or elders monitor the people to see if anyone is not acting according to the Islamic faith. Those who are suspected of being converts will be harassed and intimidated by family members, clan leaders and even al-Shabaab. As a result, most Somali Christians keep their faith completely secret. They do not tell their children about their faith for fear that the children will reveal the secret by accident.
Devastating consequences for men and women
Young female Christians are particularly vulnerable. Those who are discovered are raped, publicly humiliated, forced to marry a Muslim man, or killed. Christian men live in constant fear that they will be tortured, beaten, or even beheaded if their identities are exposed.
Despite the risks, Somali people are coming to faith in Jesus – some in miraculous ways.
• That the Somali people in the Horn of Africa will turn to God as they go through turmoil. Pray that they will have a deep hunger and thirst for God and recognize that Jesus Christ is the bread of life and the living water.
• For unity among the Somali church as many are divided due to clan differences. Pray that they will grow into spiritual maturity together.
• The Christian community is small and under constant attack. Pray for more laborers for the harvest, and also for wisdom and protection over all Christian workers.