The dangers of being a Christian in Somalia are extreme. Most, if not all, are converts from Muslim backgrounds, are high-value targets for al-Shabaab, a militant group that has repeatedly expressed its desire to eradicate Christians from the country. If discovered, believers could be killed on the spot.
Somali society is overwhelmingly conservative, and leaving Islam is regarded in many places as a betrayal of the Somali culture and clan. Christian converts face intense pressure from their family and local community, which can lead to harassment, intimidation and even death. Even being suspected of converting from Islam to Christianity can lead to life-threatening danger.
Church life in Somalia is non-existent, and in recent years, the dangers facing Christians appear to have worsened as Islamic militants have intensified their hunt for Christian leaders. Attempts to establish or re-open churches have been met with fierce resistance.
“I decided 100 times to leave Jesus and not to follow Him – but I couldn’t do it. I decided to follow Him.”
Ayesha (name changed), a Christian from Somalia living in another country.
What does Open Doors do to help?
Open Doors supports Somali believers across the Horn of Africa through discipleship training and by equipping them to cope with severe persecution.
Pray that believers who risk everything to follow Jesus will have strength to persevere.
Pray for protection for Christians who face persecution from Islamic militants, their families and communities.
Pray that isolated believers will have opportunities for fellowship with one another.