Somalia is the mostly arid Horn of Africa east of Ethiopia and Kenya.
In the 1990’s, two northern republics became independent from Somalia,
Somaliland and Punland, and these two are much safer and stable than
Somalia.  Wars, clan warfare with warlords, and a series of failed
governments has brought Somalia to destitution.  For the past decade,
the transitional national government is being supported by democratic
countries.  At the same time another national power, the Islamic group
Union of Islamic Courts (UIC), is supported by Islamic powers and
jihadists.  The economy is devastated and the public debt high.
Two-thirds of Somalis are livestock herders and overgrazing and
desertification are problems.  The narcotic leaf qat drains the economy
and the desire of many Somali men to work.  Millions are dependent on
aid and remittances from relatives abroad.


The population is ~9,359,000 and the official languages Somali and
Arabic (few speak it).  The Somali diaspora numbers about 6 million
(mostly to Ethiopia, Yemen, Kenya and Djibouti).
~94.7% are Somali (complex hierarchy of clans based on paternal descent)
Northern Somali 74.4%.  Four major clan families.
Southern Somali 20.4%.  One major clan.
~5.3% Other (Arab, Ethiopian, Afar, Oromo, Bantu).


Sunni Islam is the official religion.  The Islamists (UIC) gained
religious primacy and political power, and seek to enforce order through
shari’a law.  A small but significant number of Ethiopian Orthodox
remain in Somalia.  The murder of Christians and especially converts
from Islam is increasingly common.
~99.67% are Muslim, ~0.33% claim to be Christian.
In the Christian category:
~0.28% are Orthodox, ~0.04% Independent, ~0.01% Protestant, <0.01%
Anglican, <0.01% Catholic.
Evangelicals represent <0.1% of the population.
Charismatics represent <0.1% of the population.

Donna Siemens



Operation World, Jason Mandryk. Colorado Springs: Biblica Publishing, 2010.

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