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News / Thoughts

Somalia: Meet three secret Christians

August 13, 2018

Most Somali Christians keep their faith completely secret. For them, being known as a follower of Jesus comes with massive risks. Islam is an important part of Somali identity, and for a Somali person to decide to leave Islam and follow Jesus is seen as a huge betrayal – and one that could lead to immediate execution by extremists.

But many courageous Somali Christians believe that following Jesus is worth the risk – but that doesn’t make it easy. Meet these secret believers who all attend Muktar’s secret church in the Horn of Africa – please pray for protection, strength and encouragement for them today!

Fitsum: ‘I tell all my friends’

Fistum* is an energetic young man of about 20. He says, “As I grew up I did not believe in God. And I used to be addicted to drugs. After I lost my dad, I showed disrespect to everyone, including my mother who was a Christian.

“But one day I had a dream about John 14:1 ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.’ I realised that I was in darkness. I went to church and accepted Christ. From that day onwards my life was stable.

“Here at the fellowship I learned how to connect with God, how to read the Bible and how to share the gospel with others. It has changed my life!”

Despite the risks he faces if he is discovered by Islamic extremists, Fistum is bold in sharing his faith with his friends. He says, “I tell all my friends that God is our strength if we are His. I gave some of them Bibles and took them to church. A few received Jesus. I am so excited!”

Birtukan: ‘It’s Jesus that changed my whole life!’


Birtukan* is a mother two. “I was in a storm, especially when I got pregnant with my second child. I could not tell my problems to anyone. One day I met a Christian woman who tried to preach to me. I told her, ‘I have no home, I have no job, I have argued with my husband… I am irritated; please don’t talk to me now. I cannot listen to your gospel now.'”

But the woman would not leave Birtukan alone, and brought her to Muktar’s secret church. Since then, she has become a follower of Christ, and the believers in the church have been by her side and helped her all the way. She loves studying the Bible. “I did not think I would survive; I used to drink, I used to smoke… It’s Jesus that changed my whole life! This fellowship has helped sustain my faith and has kept me close to the Lord.”

Zemzem: ‘It is deeply rooted in my heart, so I preach the gospel’


When Zemzem became a Christian, she was imprisoned for a time, and her husband divorced her, leaving her to care for their two young sons without any help. Your support enabled Open Doors to provide for her practical needs, such as buying her a bed and cooking utensils, and helped her to start a small business.

Despite everything that she has been through, Zemzem loves to share her faith with others, and really appreciates the teaching she receives in Muktar’s group. She says, “This training taught us to preach the gospel in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is deeply rooted in my heart, so I preach the gospel. And my children and I pray every morning and evening for those who make these discipleship classes possible.”

Pray now…

  • For Muktar and the secret believers who go to his small church. Ask God to give them hope, courage and boldness
  • Ask that the congregation would grow and many would come to know Jesus through them
  • Pray for safety for these believers, and for reconciliation with family’s that have rejected them

Join the Blackout for your church family in Somalia

Get sponsored to spend a whole weekend offline and raise money and prayer for silenced, threatened and persecuted Christians like Fitsum, Birtukan and Zemzem. Join the Blackout – sign up and pre-order your Blackout pack today!

*Names changed for security reasons

We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.