Somali in Canada

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People Name: Somali
Country: Canada
10/40 Window: No
Population: 103,000
World Population: 26,240,400
Primary Language: Somali
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.07 %
Evangelicals: 0.07 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Somali
Affinity Bloc: Horn of Africa Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Somali first appeared in the Horn of Africa around 1200 and began expanding westward and southward about 150 years later. They converted to Islam around 1550, under the influence of Arab traders that had settled along the coast of present-day Somalia. By 1650, they had moved into Ethiopia. The Somali share a common language, adhere to a single faith, and share a cultural heritage. Their name is derived from the words, "so maal," which literally mean, "Go milk a beast for yourself!" To the Somali, this is actually a rough expression of hospitality. There are a large number of Somalis in Canada. As Somalia entered a new phase of chaos in the 1990s, more came to Canada. Some of them came from the United States. In addition to Toronto, many Somalis live in Ottawa while some live in Edmonton and other places. The Somalis in Canada speak Somali, English and French.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The daily stresses of navigating through a new culture while seeking to retain and treasure your heritage make it difficult to become a part of the host community. Many Somalis have found it hard to get work even though some are qualified. Language problems have been one cause. The Canadian government, along with Somali organizations in Canada, are helping young Somalis with work experience, training and other schemes to find work. There are Somali organizations in Canada to help Somalis in Canada. The Canadian Somali Congress works with national and local authorities. Some Somalis have gone back to Somalia. Somali Canadians have helped in the rebuilding of Somalia.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Sunni Islam is the religion of the Somalis. Very few dare to stray from the Islamic fold. Very often, they view Jesus as a "foreign god," and a desire to follow his way of life is seen as an uncritical acceptance of another culture as well as a denial of one's heritage.

What Are Their Needs?

Somalis in Canada often need work training so they can adapt to the new environment. Those who lived in a war zone might need trauma counseling. Loving Christians can help with these needs and gain a hearing.

Prayer Points

Pray for spiritual hunger and openness among Somali Muslims in North America. Pray that God will give Somalis dreams and visions leading them to Jesus Christ. Pray that Canadian Christians will help lead the Somalis into a movement to Christ.

Text Source:   Joshua Project