555 Challenge Week #43 Djibouti

November 4, 2013 by Open Doors in

Djibouti *Representative photo used to protect identity. The main persecution engine in Djibouti is “Dictatorial Paranoia”, in combination with “Islamic Extremism.” Djibouti is more than 95% Sunni Muslim; therefore, Sunni Islam is the main type of Islam in the country. They traditionally adhere to the Shafi school of religious law, which is similar to Yemen and Somalia, but not present-day Saudi Arabia. Ethiopian Orthodox Christians form the largest Christian group, followed by foreign service persons in Djibouti and native Djiboutian Christians, who are most likely to be converts to Christianity from Islam. Pressure on Christians, which is constant throughout the country, tends to come mostly from the family, and translates into relatively high pressure in the private, family and community spheres. There is slightly more freedom in the national and church spheres. The government does generally respect the constitutional protection of freedom of religion, although its general attitude towards Christians and other religious minorities is negative. In predominantly Muslim countries in sub-Saharan Africa, conversion from Islam is an insurmountably powerful social stigma. Djibouti citizens who convert to Christianity from Islam need to keep quiet. In Djibouti, it is likely that anyone who converts from Islam will be rejected by his or her family, clan and the community. However, reports of attacks on churches or churches being forcibly shut down are rare. In other countries in the region, Islam has been a unifying factor among the politically discontent. This scenario is a real possibility in Djibouti, especially if foreign Muslim countries with interests in Djibouti begin funding or supporting religious extremists, as Djibouti’s enemy Eritrea has done in Somalia and Ethiopia. If Islamic fanatical movements manage to get a foothold in Djibouti in the near future, this would only add to the pressure on the small church in the country, including the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Pray for Djibouti Share Djibouti’s Struggle

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