An estimated 12 million people, mostly of Somali descent, are in need of emergency food assistance in Somalia, Kenya, and Djibouti due to the worst drought in decades. The activities of the notorious rebel group, al-Shabaab, in the failed state of Somalia, have compounded the disaster facing the people there.
According to media reports, al-Shabaab, linked to al Qaeda, is in complete control over much of southern Somalia. Keeping the region under an iron fist of terror, they are refusing to allow some of the largest aid organizations access into the region. In addition, they are heavily taxing agencies who have already been working in the area. Also, al-Shabaab is reported to be preventing hundreds of thousands of desperate locals who are attempting to flee the area in search of food.
The Associated Press’s Jaso Straziuso reported on August 4 that Somalis who have fled the famine zones and reached Mogadishu told them how “militants are threatening refugees who leave the south, and often stopping – and sometimes killing – the men, leading to a disproportionate number of women and children in camps in the capital.”
In spite of the obstacles, countless organizations and governments are seeking to alleviate the suffering of the Somali people who have not seen stability since the early 1990s. At Open Doors, we call on you to join us in praying for the persecuted church there, that their faith would be strengthened, that they would know the hope and comfort of Christ, and that their needs might be met.
Father, we pray that the church in Ethiopia and Kenya would be a haven of hope for those around them and that they would be a testimony to the power and grace of Christ as the world watches on. We lift up those in Somalia who are suffering, that You would satisfy their physical hunger while creating a spiritual hunger for Christ. We pray that the control of al-Shabaab would be broken and that You, Lord, would use these tragic circumstances to bring an end to their rule. We pray for the aid organizations, especially Christian ones, serving there in spite of the obstacles. Grant them wisdom and protection. Amen