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Nairobi is the capital of Kenya, with a population of over 4.3 million people. The Muslim population in Nairobi is largely immigrant: the Nubi in Kibra (Kibera) who came to Kenya around 1850, the Swahili Muslims who came from Mombasa and Kenya’s coastal counties, and the Somalis from Somalia.
Inside the Eastleigh suburb in Nairobi exists the third largest population of urban Somalis in Africa outside their homeland. Somali Muslims in Nairobi are conservative both in culture and religion. Their group is a majority among Muslims in Nairobi but a minority in the city compared to Christians. They are influential in business and perceived as hardworking, but hostile and conservative by other communities. However, some younger, educated Somalis are more secular and engage more with non-Muslims.
Somalis are the largest unreached people group in Kenya but because their people are associated with extremist groups, many Kenyan Christians are afraid to engage with them. Some Christian workers, however, have been courageously offering the gospel through their witness, community assistance and hosting public meetings with Muslim scholars, to discuss their faith.
Abdi became a follower of Christ at university. His Muslim family refuses to have anything to do with him, and he has also found it difficult to connect with Christians in Nairobi, who are suspicious of him. He and a few other Somali Christians have started meeting privately with a local pastor to pray about starting a Somali fellowship that reaches out to their own people.
How to Pray
- Pray for young Muslims in Nairobi so be increasingly open to talk about faith with Christians in the city. (Romans 10:17)
- Pray that Kenyan Christians would be bold in their witness and prepared to talk with Muslims about their experience of Christ. (Romans 10:14-15)
- Pray for many Somali Muslims in Nairobi to follow Jesus and establish new fellowships among their people. (1 Peter 3:15).