The Christian minority suffers grievously in Somalia, and many have been killed for their faith. The country is highly unstable and racked by violence. Lack of an effective government in most of the country has led to famine, war and relentless brutality.
The growing influence of extremely conservative forms of Islam enables Islamist militias to thrive. These groups impose a strict interpretation of Islam on the communities under their control and are seeking to establish an Islamic state under the rule of sharia law.
Somalia is almost 100 per cent Muslim; Christians account for a tiny proportion of the population, and they are almost all converts from Islam. Converts live in great peril.
On 1 July 2010, Muhammad Guul Hashim Idiris was executed by members of Somali militant organisation al-Shabaab at a makeshift soccer stadium after allegedly ‘insulting the prophet Muhammad’.
The execution was reportedly witnessed by hundreds of people. Such incidents are not rare. Earlier in 2010, after another killing of a convert was reported, a spokesman for al-Shabaab stated, ‘We aim to get rid of the barbaric and non-Islamic culture in the country’.
In these volatile conditions, where Christians are in such danger if they meet to worship or share their faith, they desperately need biblical teaching and encouragement to sustain them in their walk with the Lord.
Barnabas Fund supports a radio and literature ministry based outside Somalia, that produces evangelistic and discipleship programmes and follow-up materials for Somali Christians, within the country and elsewhere.