World Watch List #2 Somalia

This is the second in a series of weekly posts highlighting the 50 most dangerous countries in the world for Christians.

Somalia Flag

The Constitution of the African nation of Somalia says in Article 1:” After Allah the Almighty, all power is vested in the public and can only be exercised in accordance with the Constitution and the law and through the relevant institutions.” Yet Somali government can hardly be said to exist by the standards of most nations.

Article 2 is the article that dominates all other elements of what passes for government in Somalia. It says:

(1) Islam is the religion of the State.
(2) No religion other than Islam can be propagated in the country.
(3) No law which is not compliant with the general principles of Shari’ah can be enacted.

Islam has dominated this country for so long that the only Christians in the country today are Muslim background believers. Shari’ah law provides for extreme punishment for people who propagate other religions and for leaving Islam.

The government of Somalia is disorganized and corrupt. It is, for all practical purposes, non-functional. Its officials rely on corrupt practices to support themselves and their official duties. The government, predominantly adherents of sunni Islam, makes little headway against the depradation of Al Shabaab, an insurgent Islamic group which wreaks violence and destruction throughout Somalia in the furtherance of its goal to gain power for wahhabist Islam.

In Somalia, both the government and Al Shabaab want to eradicate all evidence of Christianity. Christians are in great danger. They must gather in secret and are always at risk of arrest for even mentioning Christianity.

Article 17 of the constitution claims to protect religious liberty in section 1, and puts an end to any such notion in section 2:

(1) Every person is free to practice his or her religion.
(2) No religion other than Islam can be propagated in the Federal Republic of Somalia.

The internal violence between government and insurgent militant Islamists does not distract either force from persecuting Christians when they find them.

Pray for Christians in Somalia:

  • For the small number of Christians who have come to Jesus from the Islamic faith
  • For restoration of a functioning government which will give freedom to all faiths
  • For an end to the civil war, famine and drought which has plagued the nation since 1991

By Katherine Harms, author of Oceans of Love available for Kindle at

Image:Flag of Somalia
Courtesy of Nicolas Raymond
License: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0