Introduction / History
The Somali share a common language, adhere to a single faith, and share a cultural heritage. The Somalis first appeared in the Horn of Africa around 1200 and began expanding westward and southward about 150 years later. They converted to Islam around 1550, under the influence of Arab traders that had settled along the coast of present-day Somalia. By 1650, they had moved into Ethiopia.
The Somalis consider themselves warriors. They are a very individualistic people, sharply divided by clans. Fights often occur between the clans, resulting in many deaths. The results in recent decades have been tragic. Somalia is basically ungovernable, and their economy is in shambles. Today many do what they can to flee to other parts of the world like nearby Eritrea.
Where are they located?
Most Somalis live in Somalia, but some members of this people group have migrated to other countries, such as Eritrea. Others have been relocated to Europe from Eritrea and Somalia.
What are their lives like?
The Somali who fled to Eritrea live in refugee camps. People living in these camps often find that their lives have improved. These camps have schools. Many Eritreans had never gone to school before. Many are not sure if they want to go back to Somalia.
What are their beliefs?
Most Somali are Muslims. There are few, if any followers of Jesus Christ among them anywhere.
What are their needs?
Many Somali are very poor. They need food, water and shelter. They also need security, from whatever enemies had forced them to flee their homeland in the first place.
* Pray for God to soften the hearts of the Somalis in Eritrea and bring them into contact with the gospel.
* Pray for Somalis to call out to God in their distress and put their faith in Christ for all their needs.
* Pray for believers to reach this Somali network in such a way that there will be a church planting movement among the Somalis in Eritrea that will extend to Somalia.
* Pray that Eritrea and Ethiopia will serve as a starting point for a disciple-making movement among Somalis.
Text source: Keith Carey