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.
Northern Somalia, called Somaliland, has remained stable since their independence from Britain in 1991. The southern part of Somalia, called Puntland, has been overrun with civil war, violence, and clan leaders craving power. Consequently, the Union of Islamic Courts has implemented Shari’a law, creating a mixed legal system specific to Somalia of civil, Shari’a, and other customary laws, known as Xeer. Surprisingly, Somalia has a stable economy that depends largely on livestock; nearly two thirds of people in Somalia are livestock herders.
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.
If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. – John 14:14
• Pray for the believing minority who suffer great persecution and martyrdom.
• Pray for courage and strength for those who are boldly sharing their faith.
• Pray for safe fellowship and encouragement for isolated believers.