The Problem

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


Leader: President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud
Population: 15.2 million (A few hundred Christians)
Main Religion: Islam
Government: Federal republic
Source of Persecution: Islamic extremism/Tribal antagonism
World Watch List Rank: 3

“It appears that I live in hell on earth. I wish I could just stand inside a church and cry out in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
A secret Christian from Somalia

The basics

If you are even suspected of being a Christian in Somalia, you could be murdered on the spot. At least 12 Christians were killed in 2016 year when their faith was discovered. The militant Islamist group al-Shabaab has stated publicly that it ‘wants Somalia free of all Christians’, and they are able to persecute Christians with impunity, as Somalia is largely lawless. Somalia is a tribal society, and many tribal leaders see being Somali as being Muslim – leaving Islam is a betrayal of the tribe.

Where is it?

Pray this…

even where extremists don’t want people to follow You, You are still known and worshipped. Alongside Christians in Somalia, I cry out to You. Pour out Your Spirit on this harsh land. Build a radical, loving church. Provide ways for Your Word to be known and learnt. Help Christians find favour and influence to help bring tolerance and stability. Build Your Kingdom there. Change hearts. Bring many more to You. You can do it. Yours is the power and glory.

Other things to pray for…

  • For protection for secret believers, and wisdom for them to know who to trust
  • Owning a Bible could expose secret believers – pray that they will find other ways to access the Word of God and grow in their faith
  • Somalia has become a safe haven for Islamic radicalism – pray that a strong government will be formed that will stand against extremism and promote religious freedom.
  • Praise God that, despite the terrible risks they face, there are men and women in Somalia following Jesus in secret. Pray for their protection – even reading about Christianity on the internet can be dangerous.
  • That Somali Christians will find ways to grow in their faith in secret
  • Many Muslims in Somalia are seeking God. Ask God to reveal Himself to them.


More detailed info…

The good news: How we’re helping…

Open Doors has been strengthening the church in Somalia through partnership since the 1990s. Our work is focused on finding the few pockets of severely persecuted Christians and supporting them in whatever way is relevant. Open Doors advocates on behalf of the persecuted church in the region through:

  • Discipleship support
  • Literature distribution
  • Community development programmes

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.