Introduction / History The Somali share a common language, adhere to a single faith (Islam), and share a cultural heritage that is an integral part of their lifestyle.
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.
Because Somalia has become ungovernable in recent decades, Somalis are migrating to Denmark and other parts of the world to earn a living. Though they are safe in Denmark, the Somalis are facing other serious problems in this European country.
Where are they located? Most of the Somalis in Denmark live in the capital city of Copenhagen. Neighborhoods where Somalis live include Nørrebro, Brønshoj-Husum, and Bispebjerg.
What are their lives like? When the Somalis first arrived in Denmark in the early 1990s, they were welcome. Today the Danish majority suspects that Somalis are criminals and terrorists. Somalis in Denmark have an alarmingly high unemployment rate. They have a younger population than the Danish majority.
What are their beliefs? Although the Somali are nearly all Shafiite Muslims, numerous beliefs and traditions have been intermingled with their Islamic practices. Some observe the standard Islamic prayers, but Somali women have never worn any kind of traditional Muslim veil. Somali frequently turn to the wadaad (a religious expert) for blessings, charms and advice in worldly matters.
What are their needs? Somalis in Denmark need friends in this land where they are under suspect. It will take someone who is willing to make themselves vulnerable to help the Somalis learn marketable work skills. Perhaps believers can also establish places for Somali children and teens to study and play sports after school.
Prayer Points * Pray that Muslims will listen to Muslim-background believers, and turn to the God of love.
* Pray that believers will reach the Somali community in Copenhagen.
* Pray for believers to reach the Somali network in such a way that there will be a church planting movement among the Somalis in Denmark that will extend to Somalia.