in the columbus metropolitan area
The annual Somali Culture Festival draws many people together in Columbus, offering delightful smells of Somali cuisine. These aromas are complemented by Dhaanto and Goobile dances, a fashion show, and music by locally-raised Somali performer, Ahmed Rasta. The festival helps unify the 45,000 Somalis in Columbus by celebrating their culture, while also educating Columbus locals about their Somali neighbors. Over 500 businesses in Columbus are owned by Somalis, including dozens of shops in the Banadir Mall, all of which are owned by Somali women selling traditional hijab and abaya clothing, halal meat, and other goods. What has drawn Somalis and other new Americans to Columbus? It offers a low cost of living, plenty of jobs, and friendly atmosphere.
The American Community Survey 2019 estimated 16,006 people with Somali ancestry in the Columbus area. Census numbers are often undercounts, especially for groups suspicious of government representatives. Therefore, the number of Somalis in the Columbus area is likely around 45,000, which is the estimate given by the Somali Community Project.
Soccer is big among Columbus Somalis. In fact, the city’s professional soccer club, Columbus Crew, hosts the annual Columbus Indoor Soccer Cup which has over a thousand players locally, but also from Minneapolis and Toronto. So many are Somali that the hosts speak in Somali and English. Some of this soccer-draw is because professional standout Omar Mohamed grew up in Columbus after immigrating from Egypt and Somalia.
Each Friday at prayer time, Somalis pack some of the 30 mosques throughout Columbus. They visit mosques at other times as well because more than prayer is offered. Masjid Abu Bakar, a popular mosque among Somalis, offers family and youth counseling, sports and fitness, and even discussions and sermons about preventing extremism and radicalization among its people.
With small numbers of Somalis in Columbus knowing Jesus personally, the need is great for His ambassadors to offer love and care in ways which are helpful to Somalis.
Unreached people groups can also be viewed as "hidden" people groups (i.e., they are largely unnoticed and unaffected by the global Body of Christ). In the prayer gallery section below, as well as through the Google Earth prayerwalk tool, you can visualize these hidden people group communities. By doing so, we pray God gives you insight into how to pray through what you see. By scrolling through major points of interest in the prayer gallery section, pray for people you see, and pray that the peace and hope of Jesus will become known to people who frequent these places. Through the Google Earth prayerwalk tool linked at the bottom of the page, you can virtually prayerwalk through the community, praying "on site with insight." You could also take the route and points of interest from that tool and save them to your "Google Maps" to prayerwalk in person. Allow the following three steps to guide your prayers using these tools, and try prayerwalking with another person or small group! God hears the voice of His people, and He responds to our prayers!
Praise God for who He is. Thank Him for His blessings and salvation that is extended to all peoples. Praise and thank Him for appointing the time and boundaries of this people group's presence in North America so that they might seek Him and find Him (Acts 17:26). Pray Scriptures that come to mind about His glory being made known among all peoples and nations (e.g., Rev 7:9-10).
Luke 10:2 says “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." Pray for God's laborers to share Christ's love through hospitality to this people group. Pray for laborers among this community to establish loving relationships and proclaim the gospel. Pray for Christians to emerge from within this people group who will reach their friends and family members.
Most members of unreached people group communities remain unreached because they have failed to hear the gospel in ways they can understand. Others have heard the gospel but have many barriers to overcome before receiving the gospel. Pray that this community will understand the gospel. Pray for God to draw them to Jesus and remove the barriers that keep them from salvation in Christ.
Stars Indoor Sports
Stars Indoor Sports is an active and exciting multi-sport indoor facility centrally located in Columbus, Ohio. This sports facility is one place the Indoor Soccer Cup is played where hosts of the Cup speak in Somali & English due to so many of the soccer players being Somali.
Visit this page to learn general information about Somali communities in North America and their religious beliefs. Also, discover resources to help share Jesus with them in their language.
Prayerwalk through some of the main Somali restaurants, places of worship, and businesses in Columbus using a tool we developed in Google Earth. You could also do a prayerwalk in person using the same points of interest.