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Region East and Southern Africa
Leader President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed
Population 11 392 000
Christian Less than 1%
Main Religion Islam
Government Federal Parliamentary Republic
Rank 3
Score 91
Previous Rank 2
Previous Score 91

“I am at peace. Going back to Islam is not an option.”

Somalia has been on the Open Doors World Watch List since 1993. Islam was already firmly established in Somalia before the arrival of Christianity, and as a result, life for believers is defined by hostility. Somalia’s tribal system – as an informal way of governing Somalia – is very resistant to modern government models, including democracy, which means that Christians have absolutely no voice in society.

Since the downfall of Ziad Barre in 1991, Somalia has become a haven for Islamic militants, such as Al-Shabaab. Christian converts from Islam have been facing a great deal of persecution, and martyrdom is very common. The mere suspicion of someone having renounced Islam may lead to a rushed public execution.

Open Doors has been involved in strengthening the Church in Somalia, through partnerships, since the 1990s. Our work has been focused on finding the few pockets of severely persecuted Christians and supporting them in whatever way relevant. Open Doors advocates on behalf of the persecuted Church in the region through prayer support, advocacy and awareness, discipleship support, literature distribution, and community development programmes.

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