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Somali in United States


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Somali in United States map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
82,000 Somali Islam 0.00 % 0.00 %   

Somali in United States

People Group Video [7]
Source:  LinkUp AfricaWatchDownload
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Introduction / History
The Somali of the United States are a diaspora people who fled their native Somalia when their country collapsed in 1991. It is estimated that nearly 1 million Somalis fled Somalia in 1991 to Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti. More affluent Somalis escaped to Western Europe and eventually to the United States of America (USA). A 2000 report by the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR) records 5,200 Somali refugees being granted asylum in the USA. This small number has continued to grow, however. 2003 US Census data shows the Somali population in the USA at 30,000, however, the current population estimates range between 30,000 and 150,000. Data is hard to gather because multiple Somali families in the USA often live in one domicile and fear the landlord may evict for over occupancy.

Where are they located?
Somalis in the USA primarily live in 3 cities: 1) Minneapolis, MN; 2) Columbus, OH; and, 3) Seattle, WA (listed in order of population). However, Somalis are also a part of what is called "second migration." Initially most Somalis were placed in Virginia, near Washington, D.C. However, due to economic reasons many Somalis moved away from Washington, D.C. to the areas listed above. Smaller numbers of Somalis have moved to Lewiston-Portland, ME and to other rural areas.

What are their lives like?
The influx of Somali immigrants has been met with mixed reaction. They often face prejudice on many levels. Most Somali immigrants do not speak English finding it difficult to understand available governmental services but also causing some service providers to ignore them because of the language barrier. They also face the challenge of adjusting to a new culture and prejudice against Islam after 9/11. Lastly, Somalis in the USA struggle to find affordable housing in the cities where they live.

What are their beliefs?
An intrinsic link exists between the history of Somalia and history of Islam. Daarood and Isaaq, for whom two Somali family clans are named, are believed to have brought the Islamic faith to Somalia. Much debate about the veracity of these claims exists. Lewis, however, argues that Islam made its appearance in Somali “shortly after Hijrah” and entrenched itself in the local landscape by the 9th or 10th Century B.C. The historical trajectory would correlate to the overall account of the spread of Islam into the Horn of Africa. Somalis, by and large, practice Sufism. Classic Sufism believes intimate relationship with Allah can be obtained before one dies. Intimacy with God, for the Sufi, comes by following "tariqah" (the path). The disciplines practiced along tariqah vary but the result should be "ma'rifa," or "absorption into God."

Prayer Points
* Pray for the Somalis in the USA to be open to hearing the Gospel.
* Pray for the Holy Spirit to begin working on the hearts of Somalis to recognize that intimacy with God comes only through a relationship with Christ.
* Pray for gospel laborers to enter into the harvest field of Somalis who are living in the USA.

View Somali in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-05-18
Global Prayer Digest: 2011-05-24
Global Prayer Digest: 2011-05-27
Global Prayer Digest: 2017-05-21
Link Up Africa
Praying for Somali
Prayer Links
Somali People Video
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Country: United States
Continent: North America
Region: North America and Caribbean
10/40 Window: No
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Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Somali
People Name General: Somali
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 109392
Joshua Project People ID: 14983
Indigenous: No
Population in Country: 82,000
Population all Countries: 20,079,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Horn of Africa Peoples
People Cluster: Somali
People Name General: Somali
Ethnic Code: CMT33e
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Somali (82,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): som    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam100.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1915-1935
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1979
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Audio RecordingsOral Bible
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoI Against My Brother (
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Somali
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / VideoThe Prophets Story (
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGot Questions Ministry
Text / Printed MatterBible: Kitaabka Quduuska Ah
Text / Printed MatterBible: Somali Bible
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Somali in United States

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Somali     North America and Caribbean    
      Somali United States    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Somali in United States          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Somali  
    All Religions                              

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