Area: 637,000 sq km
The mostly arid Horn of Africa east of Ethiopia and Kenya.
Population: 9,358,602 Annual Growth: 2.30%
Official language: Somali, Arabic (few speak it) Languages: 15 All languages
Largest Religion: Muslim
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The Somali Church was driven underground in 1991 when the dictatorial regime of Mohamed Siyad Barre fell in a popular uprising. Most of the several hundred Somali believers went underground or fled the anarchy, taking refuge abroad. There are possibly about 4,000 Somali Christians in Somalia and twice that in the diaspora. Some meet in secret, but others follow Jesus in isolation. Pray for protection as well as discipleship and fellowship opportunities. Even as targeted persecution of believers escalates, so does the boldness of the church. But increasing numbers of believers are paying for their faith with their very lives. Pray for perseverence for Christians in this most difficult situation. Pray for Somali Christian families to be raised up the great majority of Christians are men.
A negative prejudice against Christianity must be overcome if the community of faith is ever to make a greater breakthrough. These issues include:
a) False notions of Christianity. Pray that the association of Christianity with Western decadence, European colonialism and Ethiopian interference would be broken.
b) Practical demonstrations of Christs love through aid and mercy ministry must be done in the right manner. Pray that refugees and recipients of help from Christians would be touched and would respond.
c) Nomadic pastoralism and the tightly bound clan structures of Somali society are perceived to be incompatible with Christianity; 60-70% of Somalis are at least semi-nomadic and 95% are tied into clans.
For an additional 7 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Somalia.