Somalia, on the ‘Horn of Africa’, has a population of about 8 million. Historically it is an Islamic state. In 1913, during the early part of the colonial era, there were few Christians, but this grew slowly between the wars, and then sharply declined till today when there are only about 1,000 or so Christians, mostly of the Bantu minority ethnic group belonging to the evangelical and Wesleyan Church of the Nazarene, and also a very small number of Roman Catholics.
In the country today, there is an ongoing civil war, particularly in the southern regions, where professing Christians face persecution and sometimes summary execution. There is no legal protection for Christians, some of whom meet in underground churches.
The south of the country is effectively controlled by Islamic extremists al-Shebab, and their rivals Hizbul, where an extreme form of sharia law is enforced.
In an effort to placate them the Transitional government, which controls the rest of the country introduced a milder form of sharia law as the country’s official judicial code, to little effect and the civil war continues. al-Sebaab has publicly declared that it wants Somalia free of any Christians, and is also making incursions into its neighbouring countries, especially Kenya.
The Bible was translated into Somali in 1979, but it is too dangerous for believers to own one, for if they are discovered in the frequent house searches, it means instant execution.
In December 2013 the government banned the celebration of Christian festivals. Many Christians have fled to neighbouring Ethiopia or Kenya
● For stability in Somalia, and that a strong government will be formed that will prioritise religious freedom
● For protection for secret believers and for wisdom for them to know whom to trust. Ask the Lord to deliver them from evil and give them safe opportunities for fellowship and encouragement.
● Praise God for the miracle that evangelism is still able to take place in Somalia. Ask His guidance in the use of radio broadcasts to reach those who long to know Him.
● For Christians in Somalia as they follow Christ in the knowledge that to do so may cost them their lives