Djibouti is surrounded by many volatile and repressive countries: Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Yemen. It has a geographically favorable location along a very busy shipping route. On the political front, the repressive regime of the incumbent president continues to rule the country. Djibouti is governed by a non-democratic semi-presidential regime, currently headed by Ismail Omer Guelleh. In 1999, he succeeded his uncle and is only the second president since 1977. Historically, Islam is deeply embedded in Djibouti’s society. At the same time, Christianity has existed in Djibouti for a long time, partly because of ties with Ethiopia. A significant number of Djibouti’s citizens have strong family ties in Somalia, Yemen and other Muslim countries with a strongly ingrained negative attitude towards the West and Christianity. The Djiboutian government supports western efforts to fight Islamic terrorism; this agitates a significant portion of society. Constitutionally, Islam is accorded the status of state religion.