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You can speak anonymously straight into Somalia – what do you want to say?

  1. Introduction
    What would you say if you had the opportunity to communicate directly with Somali muslims? The combination of Facebook, Messenger and translation tools like Google translate combined with new targeted material makes this type of direct communication possible. For my part, I would like to give hope, faith and a new international community. In this text I describe the strategy I have used to share the Gospel with hundreds of Somalis. Maybe you would like to say something else? Or do you want to help me spread this important message? Feel free to tell us about your thoughts in the comments field.
  2. Strategy
    2.1) Create a Facebook account with a popular name so that it is difficult to search, or use an account that you have already made. Why not choose a user name like Ciise Nuur (Jesus Light) or Ciise Malik, Christian Faith, or Islamic relief or Islamic Implosion, or Islam info. Consider connecting the Facebook account to a purchased prepaid card if you want to make it even more difficult to track. 
    2.2) You may want to protect your anonymity with some extra protection mechanisms such as Tor browser, Express VPN etc, but it is rarely needed with the Somali group. 
    2.3) Add Facebook friends from Somalia. You can for example do that through the Facebook groups Somali Charity, Mogadishu University, Qolka Somaliweyn or Somali Muslims. Somali names are often are spelled with C (eg Cabdi) and dh tex Dhanto, and ii tex. Ciise. Send friend requests, and when you start making friends, you can send requests to those with whom you already have mutual friends, increasing the chances of them accepting friend requests. Ask God to lead you to the right people.
    2.4) Send messages via Messenger. The best messages are those that make contact but do not explicitly show what your beliefs are. For example: 

    Haye [name]! Ma nabad baa? (Peace?) 
    Ma ila fiirin kartaa? (Can you take a look at this?) 
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WqJx1mIg8A&t=16s (Link to Somali Christian  TV, Shania and Shino´s testimony)


    2.5) When Muslims answer in their language, you can translate with Google translate to get an idea of what their reactions are –Google translate
    or simply respond with emojis. Sometimes somalis use shortened words that are hard for translation services to translate ( like: Alx=Thx Allah, Fcn=fine, fcn bdn= great, M.a=Praise  Allah). There are many good resources if you want to answer in Somali (search for useful phrases Somali). Feel free to turn off the sound- Often they try to contact by video chat on Messenger to find out who you are.
    2.6) One good strategy is mixing apologetic messages with messages that are lighthearted. Give links to the Jesus movie and audio Bibles. Videos like “Arab fails” can also be a good resource to help Somalis see through the exalted Arab culture.

    Here is an example of a conversation:

    conversation
    The blue arrow shows the greeting phrase, which I followed up with a lighthearted video with funny “fails” from the Middle East. The red arrow shows the Somali’s response. The black arrow shows the apologetic clip – the clip is a video that Somali Christian TV recommends as an intro to their Youtube channel. The green arrow shows the small symbol that shows that the Somali has noticed that I sent the clip.

    2.7) Vary the use of greeting phrases. There are many nice ways of saying “how are you” (li warran, and sideed tahay, for example).

    Example of a second conversation:

    Sidee tahay, [name] ?      (How are you?)
    Sidee u aragtaa fiidiyoowga?      (How did you like the video?)

    … and when he or she answers you can follow up with:

    Waan ku faraxsanahay! (Glad to talk to you)
    Ma ila daawan kartaa?   (Can you look at this one with me?)
    www.jesusfilm.org/watch/jesus.html/somali.html  (Link to the Jesus film in somali)

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    3. USEFUL RESOURCES
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    Here is a great introduction video to the Somali Christian TV Youtube channel:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WqJx1mIg8A&t=16s (Link to Somali Christian  TV, Shania and Shino´s testimony)


Audio version of the New Testamentet: https://www.wordproject.org/bibles/audio/36_somali/index.htm
Audio version of the New Testamentet: https://www2.bible.com/sv/bible/87/RUT.1.SOMB

Dramatized version of the Bible (audio): https://live.bible.is/bible/SOMSIM/MAT/1?audio_type=audio_drama

The audio to the Jesus film: https://www.inspirationalfilms.com/audio/The_Story_of_Jesus_Somali_84322.mp3

Here is a film with several Christian Somalis singing and telling testimonies:



The Jesus film:
jesusfilm.org/watch/jesus.html/somali.html

Mona Walter (a somali christian woman) points out problems in Islam:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO_IF4jBPuY

Somali Christian TV compares the Bible to the Quran:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4L3qslRgaHk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vF9Sq0yZ1N4

Playlist with testimonies from Somalis, many speakers (15 videos): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYmme4VwkZPzvS7-db7bi3tUF0pjDiD6d


Videos exposing conflicts in muslim prayer places and mosques :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5HGc7iaxmk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4TXoSsupHc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9S8N6IPOro
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k51YnX7OZRE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIOD-1wvHwA **
One of these clips can be followed up with asking for example ”Waa nabadda islaamka?” (islamic peace?)

Fail-videos – funny! Some clips that cheer you up, spread joy, and creating perspective:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15Q8OBFPmi8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PL7rQsYHY98
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MwiEjouO3s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlijctkObhA

The Jesus film:
jesusfilm.org/watch/jesus.html/somali.html

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5. FAQ – Frequently asked questions

A) Is anonymity good?
1. If someone wants to be anonymous, he or she should be allowed to be anonymous- that is the way it always has been in most Christian contexts when we give a gift, when we pray, when we do a good deed, and also when we act for a good cause in a context where there is an external threat.
2. Anonymity in many contexts is good, and that is also why the duty of professional secrecy exists.
3. Nothing is stopping you from using your personal name, but consider that there are advantages of using a pseudonym, especially with this group. I can’t see any benefits of a Christian message coming from a known identity with this group.
4. There are several passages in the New Testament where it is believed that the person is not named, or given a pseudonym, because the author wanted to protect the person’s identity due to external threat. Examples of that is the boy wearing a linen garment, who was following Jesus (Mark 14:51) and “Theophilos” (luk 1:3, Acts 1:1), and the witnesses who are not named in Acts and in Paul´s letters,(Acts 13:31, 1 Tim 6:12). Maybe the usages of different names in different contexts (Petrus/Kefas; Saul/Paul) and the changing to a christian name for some new believers is done because of this.
5. Many of the churches’ most important documents are anonymous; vision statements, creeds, written prayers, etc.
But perhaps the strongest reason for warranting anonymity, for me, is that some of the best gifts are given anonymously. and then the follow-up questions would be if the Somalis’ testimonies to Somalis are good gifts, and if some deeper knowledge of the hidden drawbacks of Islam are good gifts, and if the knowledge of a growing welcoming christian Somali community is a good gift. For me, the answer is yes.
6. In addition, there are two extra advantages of using anonymity against Islam – everything that happens is Allah’s will – if you are anonymous then it is Allah’s will – and Allah Himself is anonymous in some cases (see below) – so the anonymous adress can in itself be especially important for a muslim. In any case it can´t be warranted to condemn anonymity in Islam, due to this fact….
Check out point 4 under the heading “Inspiration”, here:
https://www.al-islam.org/quran-and…/chapter-1-revelation
And the reference  in the Quran about the hiddenness of Allah:
https://www.islamicity.org/quransearch/index.php?q=42%3A51
7a. Two more advantages of anonymity with this group is that there is nothing that suggests that a Somali is more easily saved by someone who states their identity. On the contrary. This is a hard-to-reach group and many have tried to reach them from outside their group. But when a westerner addresses the group, it is usually as if nothing he or she says makes a real impact – it is just brushed aside. That is why the clips with Christian Somalis can be so world-changing. Anonymity gives the message a greater weight compared to coming from  a known non-Somali,  and if you ask questions about the clips instead of directly advocating the content, it is also a help to get through with the message.  7b. The ambivalence of purpose helps people to listen – and this also applies to many westerners- maybe to all people groups. If you do not know where a message comes from, it can be more difficult to dismiss, than if it comes from a group that we have prejudices against.
8. Consider this: If a christian Somali who is new in his or her faith interacts with us without revealing his or her identity and without explaining why – is that OK? Of course it is.
If I write this to you under a pseudonym without explaining why, is that OK for you?
Can we accept the sender as a person – and not reject the message without considering it- and leave the sender anonymous if he or she so desires? The answer should be yes.
The answer to these questions will be a measure of your good will towards people that might want to convey a sensitive message to you – and their motives. And your yes or no to these questions will be the answer to whether that person can or should give us their trust.
B) Are the humorous clips useful?
Humor is frequently used by communicators, and has been used as a complementary tool in pushing oppressive ideologies from their pedestals. Was that really wrong against the Stalinistic regime? against Nazi Germany? Against that state or politician you think of? Are you refraining to use this tool, even if it in some cases might be needed to break the spell of falsely directed awe? These are difficult questions – let your love and conscience and prayers guide you.
C) What if I don´t understand what they say?
When Muslims answer in their language, you can translate with Google translate to get an idea of what their reactions are. Google translate is a free service (https://translate.google.com/ ).
Google translate

But you can also simply respond with emojis, smileys. Sometimes Somalis use shortened words that are hard for translation services to translate ( like: Alx=Thx Allah, Fcn=fine, fcn bdn= great, M.a=Praise Allah) If you want to answer in Somali, there are many good resources (search for useful phrases Somali) Feel free to turn off the sound- Often they try to contact video chat on Messenger to find out who you are.

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4. Conclusion
You may be wondering – does this really work?Some of the most effective evangelists and apologists who are engaging Islam are anonymous(eg Christian Prince, Rob Christian, Apostate prophet.) for several reasons. In this way, you increase awareness and closeness to one of the world’s most difficult-to-reach groups, you can also show Somalis that there are Somalis who are Christians via the linked clips, get them exposed to apologetics material in their native language, and open paths for them to leave harmful Islamic sects. You make a 100% difference to those you reach. God bless you and your future relationships.
This is simply an exciting new communication path with potential that I invite you to.
Ask yourself,
what do you want to say to Somalis now that you get the chance?



Discover and share testimonies


So what do you want to tell them? For my own part, I would like to give hope and faith and a new international community.
You can find our strategy in the swedish language here:
https://svenskapologetik.wordpress.com/2021/04/18/du-kan-tala-anonymt-rakt-in-i-somalia-vad-vill-du-saga/

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We want to hear from you!
Connect at: AION- Anonymous International Online – www.aionorg.blogspot.com 
or: https://www.facebook.com/victor.bengtsson.549/


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