The Problem

100,000 million Christians face persecution simply for following Jesus 
The Problem

Somalia

Leader: President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed
How many Christians?: Hundreds
World Watch List Rank: 3

“We were all dead, but Jesus came to save us and give us a new life”
Momina, a Somali believer

The basics

If you are even suspected of being a Christian in Somalia, you could be murdered on the spot. The militant Islamist group al-Shabaab has stated publicly that it ‘wants Somalia free of all Christians’, and they are able to act largely without punishment, due to instability in Somalia. Somalia is a tribal society, and many tribal leaders see being Somali as being Muslim – leaving Islam is a betrayal of the tribe and national identity. Rejecting your Islamic identity will provoke anger and hatred, even from close family.

From a population of over 16 million, it’s estimated that there are only a few hundred Christians in Somalia. It’s very hard to know, given the secrecy they are forced into.

Main threats to Christians

  • Extreme persecution by Islamic militants
  • Harassment from community and family members
  • Life-threatening violence

Where is it?

Pray this…

Lord, thank You that You are standing by Somali Christians – that however small they are in number, they are loved and cherished by the Almighty. Please encourage those who despair, and bring joy in the face of extraordinary hardship. We also ask that You would convict those who persecute Christians, as you did with the apostle Paul, and show them the truth of the gospel. Amen.

Meet Hassan


Many Somali believers in the Horn Of Africa face a life of isolation, exclusion and loneliness. Here, Hassan shares what a difference it makes when another believer comes to support him.

What’s life like for Christians in Somalia?

Momina (not her real name) met Jesus in a dream – a common way God uses to break through to people who have no chance of hearing about Him any other way. She managed to find a Christian man, who gave her a Bible – and she gave her life to Christ!

But she faced extreme opposition from her Muslim family. Her extended family rained insults, rejection and threats on her – and even her husband abandoned Momina and said she was dead to him. In any country this would be terrible, but Somali culture is so clan-based that Momina was left without any source of help.

Except, of course, God. He led her to a town where an Open Doors partner runs a church that takes care of believers from a Muslim background.

“Your support reached me when I was almost ‘gone’, almost broken and when I felt I had no one,” says Momina. “I thought I would see my children die one by one, or all at once. If not for you, our grief, hunger and thirst would have killed us.”

How can I help Christians in Somalia?

Please keep praying for your brothers and sisters in Somalia. Your prayers make an enormous difference to those following Jesus no matter the cost.

Open Doors supports believers across the Horn of Africa focusing on discipleship support, literature distribution and community development.

Latest news and articles on Somalia…

Click the Somalia tag below for a list of the latest articles and news on the country…

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