Prayer Country of the Week: Somalia

Sunni Islam is the official religion of the unstable nation of Somalia. With no established permanent government, Somalia functions under the temporary leadership of the Union of Islamic Courts, which serves as a transitional authority. The East African nation, located on the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, is susceptible to droughts and dust storms in the summer and floods during the rainy season. Somalia has the seventh highest birth rate in the world, accompanied by the second highest maternal mortality rate, and fourth highest infant mortality rate. The decades-long instability has also led to a 38% literacy rate, and almost one third of children are underweight.

There are 22 people groups in Somalia, 16 of which have never heard the gospel. The vast majority of those living in Somalia are Sunni Muslim and still practice traditions such as female circumcision. Islamic fundamentalists have vowed to eliminate all Christians in Somalia, and murders of Christians are becoming more common. There are currently about 4,000 believers in Somalia who mainly worship in house churches to keep their fellowship a secret. However, as the persecution of Christians heightens so does the boldness of the believers. Most missionary efforts were forced to stop in 1972 as a result of a brief dictatorship. Pray that more missionaries would be called to work among these people.

Quick Facts

Continent: Africa
Capital City: Mogadishu
Government:  Transitional, Parliamentary Federal Government
Population: 11,031,386
Major People Groups: Somali 85%, Bantu and other non Somali 15%
Religion: Muslim 99.67%, Christian 0.33%
Language: Somali, Arabic
GDP Per Capita: NA
Literacy Rate: 19.2%

How to Pray

The country of Somalia is Islamic clan-based with a high level of islamic oppression and extreme Christian persecution. All Somalis are expected to be Muslims. The muslim group, Al-Shabaab is immensely spreading and taking over the country. They use the clan structure to gather intelligence, recruit members and advance its ideology. Threatening expulsion or death, they force Christians to become apart of the clan. The Islamic religious schools stand alongside Al-Shabaab’s leadership, stating that there is no room for churches, Christianity or Christians in Somalia. This leaves Christians in a very tough position and risking their lives to live for Jesus.

Prayer Resources

The Joshua Project
Operation World
Wycliff Bible Translators