“Iska warran?” is the standard greeting among both close friends and acquaintances in Somalia which means, “Tell me what is new with you.”
Somalis do not consider one another as strangers even if they never met before. It is not uncommon for two Somalis who never met before to meet on a bus ride and strike up a conversation. Before the journey is over, they could be mistaken for friends who have known each other for years. Despite decades of brutal civil war, a Somali will usually trust another Somali they have known for a short time more than a foreigner they have known for a long time.
Violence committed in the name of Islam has created two visible movements in Somalia. The first movement is an increasing number of Muslims who are abandoning Islam. While some of these who express deep dissatisfaction with Islam are leaving religion altogether, many more Muslims are instead becoming disciples of Christ, thus creating the second movement.
The Somali church has been growing significantly since 1991 when the country started its descent into lawlessness. The gruesome killing of a local evangelist in 2008 in Southern Somalia triggered the start of significant church growth.
Pastor Fatima, 29, described the number of Muslim seekers becoming disciples of Christ as “Acts of the Apostles – Somali version.” The pastor reported 21 new house churches in her area of ministry in southern Somalia in the first six months of 2019! May every Somali’s response to the greeting question, “Tell me what is new with you,” be, “I have become a disciple of Christ.”
How to Pray
- Pray for Somali Muslim seekers to join the movement to becoming disciples of Christ.
- Pray that the Somali people will know the peace of Christ that Jesus talked about in John 16:33 and be able to work towards peace in their nation.
- Pray for the new and rapidly growing Church in Somalia to be discipled well and grow in faith. Hebrews 12:1-3
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Top photo of Somali mother and children by UN Photo via Flickr.com CC