Somali in Australia

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

A "failed state" is a political body that has disintegrated to a point in which basic conditions and responsibilities of a sovereign government no longer function properly. The nation of Somalia located on the northeast Horn of Africa is the classic example of this. Warlords and tribal leaders rule different portions of the country. They are often at war with one or more factions. The United Nations and many non-governmental agencies have donated millions of dollars of food and other aid to Somalia. Unfortunately, the food and aid frequently do not get to the people who need it. Many Somalis have left their nation and now live in 28 countries all over the world. Most Somalis still live in Somalia and nearby Ethiopia. As a result of the chaos and extreme poverty in Somalia thousands of its citizens have fled to peaceful and prosperous Australia. The Somali share a common language, adhere to a single faith, and share a cultural heritage that is an integral part of their nomadic lifestyle. 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.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Coming to a modern Western country is a shock to the Somalis so fortunately to gain entrance. Learning English, finding suitable housing and getting their children in school are their first priorities. The typical Somali adult must learn new job skills so they can survive in Australia. He or she is willing to take any job that puts food on the table. Low skilled jobs in construction, factories, sanitation, and security are often their first jobs. One of the skills the Somalis do have is taking care of animals. Australia is known for being a producer of beef, mutton, leather, and wool. Living in an apartment in Sydney or Melbourne and working in a factory is a huge change for the Somalis. Somalis enjoy telling stories and learning history through their poetry. Many times they will chant folk tales on walks in the evening. Anyone who wants to be successful in Australia has to learn to speak, read and write English. Many of the Somalis are illiterate or semi-literate when they come to Australia. The Somalis face many challenges in adapting to the modern western ways found in Australia.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Although Somali people are Sunni, the largest branch of Islam, numerous beliefs and traditions have been intermingled with their Islamic practices. The standard Islamic prayers are usually observed; however, Somali women have never worn the required veils. Somalis frequently turn to the wadaad (a religious expert) for blessings, charms and advice in worldly matters. The Somali people are Sunni, the largest branch of Islam. They try to obey the teachings of the Koran and the prophet Muhammad. They believe that by following the Five Pillars of Islam that they will attain heaven when they die. However, Allah, the supreme God of the universe, determines who enters paradise. Sunnis pray five times a day facing Mecca. They fast the month of Ramadan. They attend mosque services on Friday. If a Muslim has the means, he or she will make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in his or her lifetime. Muslims are also prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, lying and stealing. The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah.

What Are Their Needs?

The Somalis coming to Australia have tremendous needs. Finding housing and daily food is a challenge. Australian believers can help meet the physical needs of the newly arrived Somalis. Christians can help the Somalis learn English and get a job. Churches can sponsor families. Most of all the Somalis need to hear and understand the good news about Isa or Jesus. He alone can forgive their sins and grant them eternal life.

Prayer Points

Pray that many Somalis would come to personally know Jesus Christ. Pray for Somali believers, who are greatly despised by their people. Ask God to touch the hearts of believers in Australia so that they would be willing to share God's love with the Somalis. Ask the Lord to raise up Christian teachers who will work among the Somali and share Christ's love with them. Ask God to grant favor and wisdom to agencies and churches focusing on the Somali. Pray that the Lord raises up a Disciple Making Movement among the Somalis in Australia in this decade.

Scripture Prayers for the Somali in Australia.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Somali
People Name in Country Somali
Pronunciation soh-MAH-lee
Alternate Names Issa; Ogaden; Sab; Shabelle; सोमाली
Population this Country 15,000
Population all Countries 26,949,000
Total Countries 25
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 14983
ROP3 Code 109392
ROP25 Code 307625
ROP25 Name Somali
Country Australia
Region Australia and Pacific
Continent Australia
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Country Australia
Region Australia and Pacific
Continent Australia
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked

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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
100.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Somali (15,000 speakers)
Language Code som   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Somali (15,000 speakers)
Language Code som   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Somali

Primary Language:  Somali

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1915-1935)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1972-1976)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1979-2008)
FCBH NT ( Online
YouVersion NT ( Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings DAVAR Partners recording, Old Testament DAVAR Partners International
Audio Recordings Recorded oral Bible Oral Bibles
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Video / Animation Create International
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Somali Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Rock International: King of Glory Rock International
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Walking with Jesus video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions Got Questions Ministry
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Four Spiritual Laws Campus Crusade for Christ
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General Walk with the Prophets and meet the Messiah Al Massira
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
General Zume Resources Zume Project
General Zume Training Zume Project
Mobile App Android Bible app direct APK download SIL
Mobile App Android Bible app: Somali YouVersion Bibles
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2024  MarosMatousek - Shutterstock  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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