|Sources of Persecution||Islamic Oppression|
|Government||Contested Transitional Government|
|Leader||President Abrabbuh Mansur Hadi|
Yemen: High Pressure For Christians.
Islam is the state religion and Sharia (Islamic) law is the source of all legislation. Evangelism is prohibited and Muslims are forbidden to convert to another religion. Yemenis who leave Islam may face the death penalty. Islamic militant groups such as Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda have grown in influence and are the main cause of persecution. They have been actively targeting and killing Christians.
The Christian community has shrunk in recent years, as Christians from other countries have left due to war. This has left behind a small local church of Muslim Background Believers (MBB's). It is estimated there are only a few hundred MBB's in the country, but this number is growing. There are reports more Muslims are turning to follow Jesus.
While fighting in Iraq and Syria may make headlines, the conflict in Yemen is almost unreported. Yemen is in a complex and devastating war. Many different extremist groups are fighting for their own aims.
Violence is very high and has increased over the last year. There has been an increase in Christians killed for their faith and churches and Christian buildings attacked.
A Series Of Challenges.
About 80% of Yemenis are in need of some form of humanitarian aid. It is the poorest country on the Arabian Peninsula and its capital is expected to run out of water sometime in the next 20 years. With extreme issues like these Yemen’s civil war will likely continue this year with little change. As the entire population is affected, minorities are particularly vulnerable.
“As Christians we feel like strangers in our own country. The war has focused us on what really matters – following Christ – even if it costs us our lives. The Bible is very clear about what we can expect; suffering is part of life for those who follow Christ. This is why many Yemeni Christians really long for Jesus to return. We lost so much; we reach out to the everlasting peace that He will bring one day – hopefully soon!” - Jamil*, former Muslim (*name changed for security purposes)
Pray the small number of Christians who remain would find their comfort in God amidst the chaos.
Pray that Christians would be able to show the love of Christ as an alternative to the fighting.
Pray for God to work in the heart of extremists to show them their sin and bring them to Christ.