May 12, 2021
Somalia’s brutal civil war started in the 1980s and continues to this day. For that reason, more Somalis now live outside of Somalia than within its borders.
North America is home to more than 250,000 Somalis, with many concentrated in Toronto, Columbus, Seattle, Edmonton, Nashville, San Diego, and Minneapolis.
Minnesota is home to the biggest Somali community in North America, and possibly the world. U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota was born in Mogadishu and escaped from Somalia with her family, spending four years in a refugee camp in Kenya.
A Somali could be driving your cab, pouring your coffee, or working in your mayor’s office. Yet few have been befriended by Christians, and few have heard the true message of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection, as one Christian worker realized.
“What you believe is foolishness,” says Mahmud, who works in a Somali coffee shop. “You believe in three gods and can do whatever you want.”
“Has a Christian ever shared with you what they believe?” asked the Christian worker.
“Well, no,” he said. “I’ve never known a Christian before I met you.”
While this comment sounds shocking, it’s not unusual. Mahmud has been surrounded by churches for 23 the years he has lived in America, but he has never had a meaningful relationship with a follower of Christ before the Christian worker befriended him.
Somalis in North America live near Christians, yet a great cultural chasm remains.
As the Apostle Paul asked, “How will they believe if they’ve never heard? And how will they hear unless someone preaches? And how will they preach unless someone is sent?” (Romans 10:14-15).
Pray for a gospel movement among Somalis in North America, “that the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live” (John 5:25).
- Pray for Somali believers to persevere as bold and loving witnesses.
- Pray for the church in North America to love its Somali neighbors without fear.
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