Djibouti, East Africa
Political Leader: President Ismail Omar Guelleh
Religions: Islam 93.9%, Christianity 4.7%, Other 1.4%
Persecution Ranking: No. 28
Number of Terrorist Groups: 1
Acts of Terrorism: 4; Casualties: 12
Percent of Corruption: 70%
% of People in Poverty: 50%
Sandwiched between Ethiopia and Eritrea to the north and Somalia to the south, Djibouti has a strategic location in East Africa―as a handy port to get to the Middle East. The country’s economy depends heavily on its port and on foreign help.
Djibouti hosted the only U.S. military base in Sub-Saharan Africa for U.S. and Coalition Forces and remained a staunch supporter of counterterrorism efforts. Djibouti was one of the most forward-leaning Arab League members supporting ongoing efforts against terrorism. President Ismail Omar Guelleh and many top leaders in Djibouti repeatedly expressed their country's full and unqualified support for the U.S. war on terror. Djibouti was one of the very first Arab League nations to do so following September 11, 2001 terrorists attacks, even in the face of adversity and criticism from its neighbors.
U.S. security personnel continued to work closely with Djiboutian counterparts to monitor intelligence and follow up on prospective terrorism-related leads. Although the government's capabilities were limited, Djiboutian counterparts were very proactive, and were highly receptive and responsive to U.S. requests for cooperation.
Djibouti’s population is comprised of 93.9% Muslims and only 4.7% are Christians. Although officially an Islamic state, other religions are given freedom to worship. The constitution provides for freedom of religion, but proselytizing is discouraged.
Challenges for Christians:
Djibouti is ranked No. 28 among nations that are the worst persecutors of Christians based on Open Doors 2007 “World Watch List.”
- Pray for Djibouti to remain very proactive and a staunch supporter of counterterrorism efforts.
- There are many Christians amongst the Ethiopian refugees living in Djibouti. Pray that they would have enormous faith to see others come to know God.
- There a few Afar and Somali Christians―many of them are jobless and cannot read or write. Pray that these small communities would not feel isolated but would be encouraged and grow.
- Pray for Muslims in Djibouti to have visions and dreams of Jesus. Pray that they would encounter Christ.
Sources: 24-7 Prayer, Operation World, Wikipedia, Country Reports on Terrorism 2006, International Religious Freedom Report 2007, Open Doors, The World Factbook