The Problem

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


Leader: President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed
Population: 15.6 million (A few hundred Christians)
World Watch List Rank: 3

“Although I want to tell the world that I’m a Christian, I don’t because I fear for my life. But God makes it’s possible for me to survive this isolation. ”
Hassan, a secret believer in 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 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.

Main threats to Christians

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

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.


Meet Hassan…

The good news: How we’re helping…

Open Doors has been partnering with others to produce radio programmes in the Somali language, and our partners have been broadcasting Somali songs, poetry and preaching in the Horn of Africa for the past 19 years! These programmes are also bringing the gospel to those who may never have heard it before, even in parts of the Horn of Africa where evangelism should be completely impossible. As well as these radio programmes, Open Doors supports Somali 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.