Nishan is from Mogadishu in Somalia. He’s a secret Christian.
When he told his family that he had become a follower of Jesus they locked him in a dark room on their roof for 13 days without any food. His sister secretly brought him meals. Eventually his mother persuaded Nishan’s father to talk to him.
Now Nishan goes to the mosque like everyone else. But secretly, in his heart, he prays to ‘Isa al Masih’ – Arabic for ‘Jesus Christ’. He knows of 16 other secret believers who meet at the mosque and call themselves followers of Isa al Masih. And when he can, he joins with others as, one by one, they make their way to that nondescript house…
Somalia is currently second on the World Watch List. The majority of people in the country are Muslim, and no one is expected to be a Christian. The tiny Christian minorty is made up mostly of converts from a Muslim background, and a very few expat aid workers.
Islamic religious and political leaders maintain publicly that there is no room for Christianity, Christians or churches in Somalia. Most Western NGOs have pulled out of the country, because of their (supposed or accused) affiliation with Christianity.
The violent Islamist terrorist group, al-Shabaab uses its presence in parts of the country to radicalise communities at the expense of Christianity in general and individual believers in particular. Muslim-background believers – or those accused of being Muslim-background believers – have often been killed on the spot when discovered.
There is a high level of fear among believers, they don’t know who who can be trusted and who could eventually betray fellowships. Christians have to act very secretively in their communities in order to hide their faith. They meet in rather small groups and are often isolated.
They are Somalia’s secret christians.
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.