01/09/2019 Somalia (International Christian Concern) – Somalia’s small Christian population is forced to worship in secret due to the intense persecution they face. Gathering in small secretive groups, hundreds of Somali Christians across the country sing, dance and testify, but not as loudly as other Christians across Africa.
Fearing attack from extremists, such as members of the much feared al-Shabab terrorist group, Somali Christians fear merely being identified as a non-Muslim.
“We meet secretly in one of our houses and pray,” a pastor, who asked not to be identified, told the Religion News Service (RNS). “It’s always a normal service but there’s no shouting or singing loudly. The people around here are not friendly, especially when they discover you are a serious Christian.”
“It’s very dangerous for any to identify you as a Christian in this country,” the pastor explained to RNS. “You will, in fact, be counting your days on earth.”
Al-Shabab, designated as an “Entity of Particular Concern” by the U.S. State Department for its religious freedom violations, is the main threat to Somali Christians. In recent years, the terrorist group has shared reports of killings on social media after a Somali Christian has been identified. Constant prayer is needed to support this secretive and persecuted Christian community.
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