|Population||16 105 000|
|Christian Population||Hundreds (Open Doors Estimate)|
Somalia remains number three on the World Watch List, as one of the countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution. In recent years, the situation appears to have got even worse. Islamic militants have intensified their hunt for Christians, particularly any in a position of leadership.
It is impossible to publicly admit your Christian faith in Somalia, and “church life” is non-existent. Islam is considered a crucial part of Somali identity, and if any Somali is suspected of having converted to Christianity, they are in great danger. Members of their family, clan or community will harass, intimidate or even kill them. Women may be raped and forcibly married.
Christians are also in danger from al-Shabab, a violent group that advocates Shariah (Islamic law) as the basis for regulating all aspects of life. Christians from a Muslim background are considered a “high-value target” by al-Shabab, who have often executed believers on the spot, when discovered.
“We were all dead, but Jesus came to save us and give us a new life… I leave my life in His hands. I am so excited that God is with me wherever I am; I am also glad the Lord listens to my prayers.”
Momina* (38) encountered Jesus in her dreams and became a Christian. Her husband abandoned her, and her family was ordered not to support her. Thankfully, Open Doors partners were able to provide for her.
*Name changed for security reasons
What does Open Doors do to help Christians in Somalia?
Open Doors supports Somali believers across the Horn of Africa by focusing on discipleship support, literature distribution and community development, as well as broadcasting radio programs into the country.