Somalia (MNN) — In Somalia, admitting to follow Jesus as Messiah puts Christians in great danger. They face violence from their neighbors or even their families if the secret gets out.
Jacob, a partner with The Voice of the Martyrs Canada, says he heard about Jesus when a civil servant shared the news with his mother.
Aside from the danger, he talks about the loneliness of Somali Christians. “You don’t have friends and you don’t have relatives. You become an island when you lose your community. But also there is not another community that can embrace you. You left your biological parents and kinships, and you don’t have someone else to stand with you.”
Open to the Gospel
But Jacob says many in Somalia are open to hearing about Jesus. They see violence done in the name of Islam by radical groups like Al-Shabaab. On November 25, for instance, Al-Shabaab bombed Somalia’s capital, killing 8 and injuring 17.
Jacob says Somali people want to hear a message of peace. “The young people are especially confused. Because they are seeing the killings, the slaughtering, and the bombings. They hear about a whole university being attacked, and then [radical groups claim responsibility]. So people are thirsty and they are searching.”
“They are searching every day and every night. And that’s why the Christians need to love these people.”
Violence against Christians doesn’t even make sense within the teachings of Islam, Jacob says. Muslims believe Jesus was a great prophet, and that He will return to judge the world. “You cannot be confessing these things about Jesus and still slaughter the ones who are following Him. It is contradictory. And many people right now are reading a lot about Christianity.”
Pray the Somali church would grow. Ask God to comfort Somali Christians, many of whom suffer illness from the trauma of being cut off from their communities.