Somalis

in the greater toronto area
Bosnian man

Fun Facts

Several Somali rappers including K’naan, as well as R & B Somali artist Amaal, have been raised in and perform in Toronto. Most of them are second-generation Canadians whose families were part of the Somali diaspora. Their lyrics combine a desire to be true to their roots, but also to connect with their local culture.

Religious Life

There are over 70 permanent mosques and many more musallahs (prayer areas) in the Greater Toronto Area where Somali Muslims go for prayer. The Khalid Mosque, which claims over 20,000 members, is affiliated with the Somali Islamic Society of Canada.

Most Somalis in Toronto lack a personal relationship with Jesus, the One who could best give them hope, peace, and strength as they face challenges in life. Pray that God provides light-bearers in Toronto to point Somalis to Jesus.

Prayer Gallery

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!

1. Praise and Thanksgiving

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).

 

2. Pray for Laborers

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.

3. Pray for Understanding and Receptivity

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.


Khalid Bin Al-Walid Mosque
(Etobicoke, ON)

The Khalid Bib Al-Walid Mosque is owned by the Somali Islamic Society of Canada. The mosque was founded in 1990 and claims 20,000 members. Its services include prayer times, complete funeral services, Quran classes, free Iftar during Ramadan, Eid prayer, youth programs, and marriage counseling and officiating.

 

Istar Restaurant
(Etobicoke, ON)

Istar is a restaurant and banquet hall. Opened 24 hours, it is popular at all hours among different subsets of Somalis. Their eloquent banquet hall if often rented out for Somali family and community events.

 



Al-Hikmah Centre
(Etobicoke, ON)

A predominantly Somali institution and mosque. It’s focused on teaching the Qur’an and Shariah and helping its students propogate Islam. Associated with the centre is the Al-Hikmah Academy, which seeks “to disseminate the purity and essence of the Islamic Sciences.” They produce pamphlets, a quarterly newsletter, and other resources to help Muslims propogate Islam.

 

Somalis in North America Overview Page

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.

Virtual Prayerwalk among the Somali Community in GTA

Prayerwalk through some of the main Somali restaurants, places of worship, and businesses in the Greater Toronto Area using a tool we developed in Google Earth. You could also do a prayerwalk in person using the same points of interest.

Interested in reaching Somalis? Have a suggested edit or want to help? Contact us!

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    100,000 Yemenis

    Statistics Canada 2016 counted 6,645 people whose ethnic origin was Yemeni. The 2019 American Community Survey counted 58,627 people born in Yemen now living in the United States. Counting U.S.-born children and typical undercounts of Arabs in the census, it is safe to assume there are at least 100,000 Yemenis in North America. The Wikipedia article on Yemeni Americans claims "there are an estimated 100,000-200,000 Yemenis living in the United States as of 2018,” but no source is given for that statistic.

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    350,000 Bosniaks

    The Congress of Bosniaks of North America estimate 300,000 Bosniaks live in the United States and 50,000 in Canada.

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    300,000 Somalis

    The America Community Survey 2019 estimated 182,951 people reporting Somali ancestry in the United States. Statistics Canada 2016 estimated 62,500 people with Somali ethnic origin in Canada. Census figures tend to undercount groups like Somalis who are suspicious of government authorities and census takers. Community estimates of Somalis in the Greater Toronto and Edmonton areas alone number 100,000. An estimated 300,000 Somalis in North America is a conservative estimate, and their population number could be much higher.

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    670,000 to 1,000,000 Sikhs

    In the 2011 Statstics Canada census, 454,965 Sikhs were estimated to live in Canada. The United States does not count religious affiliation in its census, and the language of Punjabi is also spoken by Hindus and Muslims which makes "language spoken at home" a difficult category for measuring Sikhs. However, the 2012 Pew Religious Survey indicates 5% of Indian Americans are Sikh. The 2019 American Community Survey estimated 4,240,466 Asian Indians living in the United States, and 5% of that population equals 212,023. The Sikh America Coalition, however, estimates 500,000 Sikhs living in the United States. Therefore, low estimates of Sikhs in North America are around 670,000 people and high estimates are around one million.

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    400,000 Afghans

    The diversity of the people groups who identify as Afghans contributes to the difficulty of using census information to estimate the number of Afghans in North America. The American Community Survey 2019 counted 156,434 people in the United States with "Afghan" ancestry. However, some Afghans would identify their ancestry as Tajik, Pashtun, and so forth. Statistics Canada 2016 counted 83,995 people with Ethnic Origin as Afghan, 4,810 as Pashtun, 2,905 as Tajik, and 1,515 as Hazara. So, adding those number together gives a good idea of a low estimate of the number of Afghans in Canada. Allied Media Corporation, who has worked extensively with the Afghan American Community, estimates 300,000 Afghans live in the United States. With adding Canada's number, a reasonable estimate of Afghans in North America is 400,000 people.

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    Estimated 40,000 Kurds in the United States and 16,315 Kurds in Canada

    A 2019 BBC article estimated 40,000 Kurds in the United States, as did a much earlier NBC News Report. A 2009 Kurdish Herald aricle estimated 50,000 Iraqi Kurds were living in the United States. The estimates of Kurds we have found in various cities seem to coincide with the more conservative 40,000 number. However, many Kurds from Turkey mix into the Turkish population and are harder to identify. Statistics Canada 2016 estimated 16,315 people in Canada had a Kurdish Ethnic Origin.

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    Between 275,000 and 350,000 Turks living in North America

    The Turkish Coalition of America gives a conservative community estimate of 350,000 Turks in the United States. According to American Community Survey 2019, 212,489 Turkish people were estimated to live in the United States. Statistics Canada 2016 reported 63,966 with a Turkish ethnic origin.

     

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