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Day 23, July 31: Somalia Persecution

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Day 23, July 31: Somalia Persecution

World’s biggest camp persecutes refugees

Ha rajo dhigin! — “Never give up.”

The hot desert wind shakes the refugee tents in the Kenyan UNHCR camp Dadaab. Khadija sought safety there along with half a million others from Somalia. After 20 years of constant suffering because of civil war, Khadija grabbed her children and ran. She didn’t get far. Now a refugee, she, like most, was allocated to this camp. They could not return home where war still raged, and they could not move on as there are few countries that welcome them. Dadaab is meanwhile the biggest UNHCR refugee camp worldwide. A whole generation has already been born and raised there, knowing only the hardship of life as a refugee.

Security is a huge issue in the camp. Al-Shabaab militias thrive on fear and make life unbearable — even inside the camp. Women are raped, small boys are forced to join and fight for Al-Shabaab, UN helpers get kidnapped, vehicles are blown up by landmines and there is a constant lack of almost everything

No one could protect her

Here and there you will find some Christians among the Somalis in the camp, Khadija among them. But it isn’t easy. Many of her fellow Christians have been killed already by Al-Shabaab. They simply cut the throats of whoever they find with a Bible or anyone attending an underground church. So eventually Khadija had to run away from the refugee camp because of the persecution by fundamentalist Muslims claiming strict Sharia law; the local authorities were unable to protect her. As soon as she left Dadaab, Khadija and her children were completely on their own. She finally made it to Nairobi, but only just.

We seek God’s intervention for Somalia. May He grant peace for this suffering nation! May the time come when many Somalis entrust their lives into the loving hands of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour!

Prayer ideas:

* Pray for openness for the gospel and that believers can meet in peace in Dadaab and in Somalia.

* Pray that believers can grow strong spiritually; only those who stand firm in their faith are able to cope with the pressure of persecution and isolation.

* Pray for evangelistic work through personal contacts, but also by radio, literature and the Internet.

Ha rajo dhigin! — “Never give up!”

Further Reading