Somalia is a country without stable institutions for thirty years, where the opposition between the central power and the federal states, combined with the religious fundamentalism of the jihadist group Al-Shabaab, shapes a precarious political and social situation whose consequences are paid by the civilian population.
In this difficult context continues to live a small Christian community, in a hidden way, in which they carry out their faith. Agenzia Fides reports the statements of Mgr. Giorgio Bertin, Bishop of Djibouti and Apostolic Administrator of Mogadishu, who acknowledges the tolerance that the Somali people have always reserved for Christians: “Somalis have never been anti-Christian. In fact, in the past they viewed us in a benevolent way. Since the fall of Siad Barre, perhaps even a little earlier, with the arrival of an Islamism that seeks to rebuild society on the basis of Islamic law, Christians have been progressively marginalized. Today, politicians, although not hostile to the Church, tend not to guarantee a space for Christians because they fear being accused of favoring “the crusaders”. These are rhetorical formulas which, however, unfortunately, are becoming fashionable”.
The problem of Islamic fundamentalism is very strong: “Al-Shabaab – Monsignor Bertin concludes – is present in the interior of south-central Somalia, but it also has its own cells in the main Somali cities. In addition to Al-Shabaab, there are also groups inspired by the Islamic State, especially in Puntland. Both, in addition to imposing a comprehensive view of Islam, sow hatred and terror in the territory.”