|Persecution Type:||Islamic Oppression|
|Christians:||A Few Hundred, Unspecified|
|Government:||Federal Parliamentary Republic|
|Leader:||President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed|
In this country in horn of Africa, estimates suggest that 99 percent of Somalis are Muslims, and any minority religions are heavily persecuted. The Christian community is small and under constant threat of attack. Sharia law and Islam are enshrined in the country’s constitution, and Christian persecution almost always involves violence. Additionally, in many rural areas, Islamic terrorist groups like al-Shabab are de facto rulers advocating for Sharia law as the basis for regulating all aspects of life in Somalia,
Al-Shabab regards Christians with a Muslim background as high-value targets. Believers who left Islam to follow Jesus are often killed on the spot when discovered. Al-Shabab has continuously expressed its desire to eradicate Christians from the country.
Islamic oppression is not limited to militants. Christians also face serious persecution from families and the community at large. Any conversion to Christianity is regarded as a betrayal of the Somali family and clan. As a result, if Somalis are suspected of being converts, family members and clan leaders will harass, intimidate and even kill them. In recent years, the situation appears to have worsened. Islamic militants have intensified their hunt for Christians and in a position of leadership. An attempt to reopen a church in Hargeisa, Somaliland, failed because the government was forced to shut it down due to pressure from the local Islamic population.
In the World Watch List 2019 reporting period, Christians remained extremely vulnerable to attacks by Islamic militants. In the interests of security, no examples can currently be published.
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