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Three Islamic al-Shabaab rebels killed a Christian man in front of his home in Afgoye, Somalia on March 23. The men shot Mu'awiye Hilowle Ali at close range, hitting his head and chest and killing him instantly. Islamists had previously accused Mu'awiye and his family of spreading "fitna" -- an Arabic word for religious discord. Trained in the former Soviet Union, Mu'awiye had served in the Somali armed forces. He converted to Christianity in 2006. Members of al-Shabaab refused to allow Mu'awiye's body to be buried in a public graveyard, calling it Muslim territory. As a result, he has been temporarily buried in the compound of his home. He is survived by his wife and 10 children. In response to the tragedy, a Somali church leader in Mogadishu said, "[his] martyrdom will only strengthen the Somali church and that such violence will never succeed in stopping the church planting movement we see in Somalia today." (Source: International Christian Concern)

Pray that Mu'awiye's widow and children will draw near to the Lord as they mourn. Pray for protection for Christians facing intimidation and threats from those around them. Pray for Christians working secretly to share the message of Christ in Somalia.

To find out more about the persecution believers face in Somalia, go to the Somalia Country Report.

Country Information

12,094,640 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Somali (85), Bantu and other non-Somali (15)

Religion (%)
Islam (99.6), Christianity (0.3), other (0.1)

President Mohamed Abdullah Mohamed (2017)

Government type
Federal parliamentary republic

Legal system
Mixed legal system of civil law, Islamic law, and customary law (referred to as Xeer)

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Somalia

Please join us in praying for our ministry partners who are effectively reaching Somalians through the multiple radio broadcasts, specifically asking God to further strengthen and equip them so they can continue with their vital outreach work. Also, pray that the hearts of those yearning to learn more about the Lord will be greatly encouraged through the broadcast messages. May these spiritual seekers be shielded from all harm, while their lives are being radically transformed by the ongoing work of His Holy Spirit.


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Somalia News

  • Arrested Couple Released
    People in Somalia

    On September 21st, police in the self-declared autonomous region of Somaliland detained a Christian couple. They were described as "apostates and evangelists spreading Christianity." To view a previously published report on the arrest, go to this page.

  • Christian Couple Arrested
    Somali children

    At an October 5th news conference, police in the self-declared autonomous region of Somaliland announced that a Christian couple had been arrested for being "apostates and evangelists spreading Christianity." On September 21st, the two were taken from their home in Hargeisa where police also found C

  • Spreading God's Light to the Somali People

    Radio equipment

    Paul, a Somali Christian brother, is faithfully recording messages of his faith to be posted on YouTube. Another Somali man recently came to faith in Christ after Jesus appeared to him in a dream. And yet another dreamed that Jesus told him to read the Bible; he has since accepted Christ as his Savi

  • Al-Shabaab Increases Terrorist Attacks

    Soldiers in Somalia
    Although the army is combatting terrorism, the true battle is a spiritual one.

    The Somalia-based terrorist group, al-Shabaab, has overtaken Nigeria's Boko Haram as Africa's deadliest militant group, according to new figures from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project.

    The data, compiled by