Can we find peace in the middle of Christian persecution in Somalia? When fear, torment, danger, and the smell of death stops the heartbeat and numbs the body of deep pain?
Whenever Jesus appears to anyone in the Bible, He always says, “Shalom,” which means peace. This peace is not the absence of trouble. We do not connect it to circumstances; it is a grace of life that the outside world cannot touch. You may be amid great trials and still have this shalom peace. How do the Somalis find this shalom? Let’s find out.
I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.John 14:27 (NLT)
Finding peace in the middle of persecution is not dependent on the state of life. It can only come as the fruit of the Holy Spirit. True lasting peace comes when you become a child of God through the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
There will be battles, storms in life, persecution, and even death that we will face. But Jesus promised us when He was on the cross that He will leave us peace that the world will not understand.
Whatever we face in life, even death cannot separate us from the Love of God. We can stand firm on this love. It is the shalom that rules our hearts and minds in the middle of persecution.
Peace in the Middle of Persecution
What is this peace with God? When Jesus died on the cross to save us, it tore the veil that isolated us from the Father. It gave us access to the throne room of God and ushered us to His royal presence as His children. So then we can come and call Him our Father.
This peace with God through Jesus Christ is the spirit of Jesus Christ Himself inside our hearts. His peace will not leave us, nor forsake us. Not even persecution or death will separate us from the love of God.
Having peace with God and knowing He loves us helps us face the storms of life, persecution, and even death. God holds us in His hands, and wherever we are, God is there with us. One thing is for sure: He is there with us through fire or water. He will be our shalom in the middle of persecution.
The Meaning of Peace in the Middle of Persecution in Somalia
Somalia is the third-worst country for Christian prosecution. It has an extreme level of Islamic persecution, according to Christianitytoday.com news. Somalia has civil war, tribalism, and violent Islamic militancy. Muslims who convert to Christianity are a betrayal of the Somali family and clan. They torment, frighten and even kill the suspected converts on the spot without trial.
Al-Shabab is a violent Islamic terror group. They promote Shariah law in the life of Somalis, to get rid of the Christians in the country. Foreign jihadists and other Islamic militants are also present in the country.
Exposed to the Islamic militant attacks, Somali Christians keep their faith secret. But despite the danger, they stand firm on their faith and refuse to deny Jesus. Somali people are coming to faith in Jesus, some in miraculous ways. Jesus talks to them in dreams and some have even had a personal encounter with Him, according to Open Doors.
Stories of Persecution in Somalia
The Story of Billy
Billy’s father was a tribal and religious leader who has memorized the Koran. Billy studied the Koran along with an English Bible. After three years of study, he converted to Christianity. His family threatened him when they found out.
He met another Somali Christian, and together they formed an underground house church with 14 members, including Billy and his friend. It was discovered, and the persecution began. They executed 12 members of the church. Billy and his friend escaped and moved to another country. After which they could go in and out of Somali and continued planting and nurturing Christian churches. Today his church in Mogadishu is growing because of the 12 martyrs. (Source: The ARC)
The Story of Guled Jama Muktar
On September 25, 2013, in Mogadishu, the militants who vowed to get rid of Christians beheaded 17-year-old Guled Jama Muktar while his parents were at work at their retail store. The extremist militants’, Al Shabaab, had monitored the Muktar family since they arrived from Kenya. They discovered that they were Christians and held secret Bible meetings in their house. (Source: Open Doors)
The Story of Haasan and Aaden
Haasan told how his father Aaden came to know Jesus in a vision while tending his animals. He was an illiterate shepherd. These are the words Jesus said to Aaden, as told by Haasan, his son, “It’s me, Isa. Do not be afraid, for I am with you.” (Isaiah 41:10)
When he followed Jesus, his neighbors mauled him with a panga, a machete-like weapon. He still bears the scars today. Haasan did not face the brutal persecution when he also decided to follow Jesus, but the community rejected and insulted him, which left him isolated (Source: Open Doors)
No matter how violent the persecutions and thousands of killings in Somalia. The converted Christians can face any attacks or execution in the name of Jesus. There is shalom in their hearts, the peace that Jesus gives that passes understanding in the middle of trouble and persecution.