The Somali government in Mogadishu has banned any public celebration of Christmas citing the fact that the holidays are Christian in nature and therefore threaten the nation’s Islamic faith.
In 2009, Somalia adopted Sharia law, although Christmas was still occasionally celebrated. According to the BBC, the security agencies of the country have been placed on alert to stop any “Christmas gatherings”.
Foreigners can freely celebrate the holiday although only in their own domiciles. Hotels and other public areas cannot host celebrations of the holidays.
The mayor of Mogadishu, Yusuf Hussein Jimale, told the BBC that Christmas gatherings could also become targets for Al-Shabab. Celebrations will be allowed on United Nations compounds and bases for African Union (AU) peacekeepers, who are in the country to fight against the terrorist group.