The Somali of East Africa and Diaspora
Population: 16-20 million
Location: Somalis live in East Africa and around the world.
History: Somalis have lived in the Horn region of Africa for millennia. Rock painting found in Somaliland date back 5000 years. Somalia was part of the Silk Road- supplying frankincense, myrrh, and spices to Ancient Egypt and others.
Somali sailors were influenced by Muslim traders across the Red Sea in the early centuries of Islam. Somalis were among the first people to convert to Islam in Africa.
In the Middle Ages several powerful Somali empires dominated regional trade. In the late 19th century, they were able to repel colonial forces for 25 years, until the British used airplanes to bomb the capital in 1920.
The territory was eventually divided among colonial powers: French Somaliland, British Somaliland, Italian Somaliland.
British and Italian Somaliland gained their independence in 1960 and united as the Somali Republic. The Haud and Ogaden, traditionally occupied by Somalis, were ceded to Ethiopia by the British in 1948 and The Northern Frontier Distict, also Somali, was given to Kenya by the British in 1960.
French Somaliland gained its independence in 1977 and became The Republic of Djibouti.
In 1969 Mohamed Siad Barre led a military coup and established a socialistic state. He became an oppressive dictator. War with Ethiopia in the late 70s led to over one million displaced Somalis living in refugee camps in Somalia. Resistance movements against Barre began in the North in the late 80s. He responded ruthlessly- 50,000 people were killed between 1988 and 1989 in the North. Civil war broke out in 1991. 1 million people lost their homes in the war. Many hundreds of thousands fled to refugee camps or abroad. 350,000 people died of disease, starvation, or war. Barre was ousted as President, leaving a power vacuum and civil war continued for a decade.
A Transitional National Government was formed in 2000 with UN peace keepers support. A Transitional Federal Government was established in 2004- 2012. Al-Shabaab opposed the government and began attacking in 2007 to the present. The Federal Government of Somalia was established in 2012 and continues in power.
Culture: The name Somali is derived from the words ‘soo’ and ‘maal’ meaning “go and milk”. Many Somalis are pastoralists, caring for herds of camels, goats and sheep. Somalis love poetry and are known as a ‘Nation of Poets’.
Diaspora: Large populations of Somalis can be found in the UK, Europe, Canada, and the US.
Latest Prayer Updates:
We have a young friend who became disillusioned with her faith and left Isl@m. After leaving her religion, she became an agnostic. Eventually she was led to faith in Jesus through a relative who had also left Isl@m. It has been about a year now, and she faces many challenges and still struggles with past and current circumstances that result in anger, hurt, rejection, and fear. Because she does not live nearby, it has been difficult getting together with her to encourage her during this past year of covid. We are thrilled at her decision for Christ, but her faith is not yet strong.
Please pray God’s strength will sustain her, and that the Holy Spirit will bring His truth, love, and comfort to her situation and her wounded heart! Please pray she will cling to the Lord and His Word in the midst of her troubles.
Our court trial has been set- we will go to court on April17th 2021. Keep us in your prayers dear brothers and sisters in Christ. Ask God to turn the court decision as He turned the position from Mordecai to Haman in the Book of Esther.
I would say, be courageous and pray without ceasing, there is nothing that can separate us from Christ, whether it is persecution or trouble or loneliness, nothing can keep us from Christ our Lord and Savior.