Somalia (MNN) — In Somalia, Christians face harsh persecution if they convert away from Islam, the state religion. Many Christian converts eventually flee the country.
How can the Somali Church grow when society treats believers so poorly? Jacob is a partner with The Voice of the Martyrs Canada. He says Christians outside Somalia are eager to help the Church grow. But they need to let Somali Christians do it within their own culture. “Don’t force them to behave in what you think is the traditional way. Jesus did not come to change the culture.”
Instead, Jesus proclaims His message within cultures. Jacob says, “It doesn’t matter if I’m eating with the left or right hand. Am I eating? That is the thing.”
Some Christian ministries or denominations expect the Somali Church to look like Western churches. Instead, Jacob encourages listeners to pray for the Somali church as it is.
Jacob says Somali Christians have built their own networks. “We have a lot of believers who are connecting with others in the networks in various regions. So let’s pray for the networking to be even stronger. Let’s also pray for the resources to educate the children of these families. They cannot just go to any school. It’s good for them to go to a school where they are protected.”
Christians in Somalia and outside the country need each other, Jacob says. Ask God to strengthen them. “We come to one table. All of us are building one building. And that building is the body of Christ, bringing the hearts and minds of believers together as we pray for one another, strengthen one another, and share our resources.”
The header photo shows Somali shoppers in the city of Mogadishu. (Photo courtesy of AMISOM Public Information, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons)