(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday, February 9, 2023, in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch
SOMALIA: Population: 16.6 million, Christians about in the thousands
Somalia is a majority Muslim nation and society expects all Somalis to be Muslim. Imams in mosques and madrassas state publicly that there is no room for Christianity, Christians or churches. The violent insurgent group al-Shabaab has repeatedly expressed its desire to eradicate Christians from the country. Christians from Muslim backgrounds are regarded as high-value targets and may be killed on the spot if discovered.
Christians also face serious persecution from their family and community. Leaving Islam is regarded as a betrayal of the family and clan, and family members and clan leaders will harass, intimidate and even kill Somali converts. Anyone even suspected of being a Christian convert is closely monitored by the elders in the community, and even by their own family members. ‘Church life’ is simply not possible, so the few believers must meet in secret. Islamic militants have intensified their hunt for people who are Christian and in a position of leadership.
Christians from a Muslim background are most vulnerable to persecution. Converts from Islam to Christianity are regarded as a high-value target by al-Shabaab militia and many converts have been killed on the spot when discovered. Young female converts to Christianity are particularly vulnerable. They are oppressed and exploited both on grounds of their faith and their gender. Young Christian girls are forced into marriages, in which they face sexual harassment, physical violence and pressure to adhere to conservative Muslim practices in an attempt to ‘rehabilitate’ them.
Christians in Somalia continue to face an extreme level of violence, which has worsened in recent years. Islamic militants have intensified their hunt for people who are Christian. Their goal, as they stated on many occasions, is to free Somali from any Christians. During the past year, al-Shabaab carried out a number of violent attacks in the capital, Mogadishu, killing many soldiers and hundreds of civilians. Hundreds more were wounded. The political landscape has deteriorated, and tribal leaders, the government and opposition leaders disagree on crucial issues such as holding elections. Taking advantage of this fragmentation, jihadist groups have increased their numbers of followers and escalated their bid for control of the country’s territories. Even though the election was finally held, and transfer of power took place, the friction has shown the fragility of the current state of affairs.
No region of Somalia is safe for Christians. However, areas in the south and southwest that are under the control of al-Shabaab are the most dangerous.
- Pray for Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre that the Lord will convict Him and help him to recognize Christianity as a gentle citizen.
- Pray to God for an end to bring peace to Somalia, that the warring factions will wor5k out their differences without resorting to violence.
- Pray to God to stop the increase of violent Islamic extremism. Pray for peace and for God’s protection over His believers.
- Pray to God to protect our Somali brothers and sisters from the dangers they face by simply following Christ.
- Pray to the Lord to cast his hand of protection over secret believers, and those whose faith has been discovered.
- Pray that God will intervene in the hearts of extremists to put an end to the violence and restore peace to this region. For supernatural ways to eradicate fear, intimidation, and violence.
- Pray to the Lord to heal those who have been harmed physically and emotionally. Comfort those who have lost a family member because of their faith.
- Somali believers face great isolation. Pray that they will know God’s comfort and find ways to grow in their faith.
- Pray to the Lord for young female converts to Christianity who are particularly vulnerable. They are oppressed and exploited both on grounds of their faith and their gender. Young Christian girls are forced into marriages, in which they face sexual harassment, physical violence and pressure to adhere to conservative Muslim practices in an attempt to ‘rehabilitate’ them.
- Pray to the Lord to protect the NGOs covert support in persecution preparedness, trauma counseling and spiritual and physical support.
- Pray to the Lord that believers have good access to the internet to access digital bibles on their phones, as possession of Bible in print form is extremely dangerous.
- Pray to God that He will speak to Islamic extremists in dreams and visions, transforming their hearts and actions.
- Pray that believers can love and forgive their persecutors.
- Pray that the Lord will strengthen and preserve the lives of His believers and add to their numbers in spite of the hostile environment.
Again, we want to lift-up these persecuted witnesses to the Lord:
- Leah Sharibu, a prisoner of Boko Haram since 2018, pray for her release.
- Alice Loksha Ngaddah, kidnapped February 2019. She is a mother of two, working as a nurse for UNICEF. Pray for her release.
- Pray for Pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison
- For the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, and his family as their Persecution continues. Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of his six-year sentence, recently reduced from ten years.
- Pray for Ryan Kohler, pilot for Mission Aviation who is in prison in Mozambique. While flying supplies to orphanages in the Northeast of the country, he and two others were detained and accused of supporting terrorism.
- “I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18)
Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator
Prayer Conference Call Details
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
From any location on your phone
USA Time Zone:
9:00 PM Eastern
8:00 PM Central
7:00 PM Mountain
6:00 PM Pacific
Call in number: (667) 770-1476
Access Code: 281207#
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What is Persecution Watch?
Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God. The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern time in the United States (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted, and the missions became one. Brother Blaine passed into glory on December 26, 2019. It was truly a blessing for all of us to serve alongside this dear man of God and he will be greatly missed. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch remains an important part of our mission. Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with the dedicated Persecution Watch prayer warrior team.
Prior to the passing of Brother Blaine, he confirmed the passing of the torch as prayer conference call leader to Nadia Dybvik. Nadia has a burdened heart for the persecuted and is a prayer warrior standing in the gap for them. She joined the Persecution Watch prayer team in 2013 and has been part of the core ever since. Before becoming the prayer call leader, she served in the role of prayer moderator since 2015. Blaine chose Nadia for her faithfulness to pray for the persecuted and her strong commitment to the Persecution Watch mission. We are blessed not only with her gift of prayer, but her genuine love for every brother and sister in Christ that comes on the call to pray. May the Lord continue to bless Nadia and the prayer team in the mission and their personal lives.
“Pray for us” is the number one request that we hear from the persecuted. As the members of the first century Church were moved by the Holy Spirit to pray, we too must continue to serve those suffering persecution by lifting them up to the Lord through prayer.
On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the conference call to share the trials they are facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer. Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.
Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone.
We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you. If you are new to the call and cannot find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!
God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.
Lois Kanalos, Founder, Voice of the Persecuted, Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Leader and the Persecution Watch Prayer Team
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Note to Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) readers: The Persecution Watch prayer team is also the prayer team of Voice of the Persecuted. SIGN UP today.