How many Christians are there in Yemen?
Open Doors estimates that there are only a few thousand Christians in Yemen. Christians make up a very small percentage of the population, which numbers nearly 30 million. Before civil war broke out, most of the Christians in Yemen were expatriates, but many have left to escape the violence.
Why are Christians persecuted in Yemen?
Yemen is a strongly Islamic nation, and all Yemenis are considered Muslims. Leaving Islam is forbidden; Muslims who decide to follow Jesus could face the death penalty. There is no room for any open church activities or private worship. The war has allowed radical Islamic groups to expand their operations in certain areas, leading to Christians being abducted and killed.
What’s life like for Christians in Yemen?
While the number of believers in Yemen is growing, most have to keep their faith a complete secret. It is seen as a huge source of shame for a family member to leave Islam, so believers from Muslim backgrounds run the risk of honour-killing or physical violence if their families or communities discover their faith.
As the war in Yemen continues, Christians also miss out when emergency aid is distributed. It is mostly distributed through Islamic organisations and local mosques, who allegedly discriminate against those who are not considered to be pious Muslims.
Alongside this, the coronavirus pandemic is deepening the economic crisis in the country with prices rising on food, masks, soap and other basic supplies. Hospitals are gravely limited in the resources to treat Covid-19, leading to stories of Yeminis being refused treatment and dying.
How can I help Christians in Yemen?
Please keep praying for your brothers and sisters in Yemen. Your gifts and prayers make an enormous difference to those following Jesus no matter the cost.
Open Doors supports the body of Christ on the Arabian Peninsula through organising prayer, distributing Scripture resources and training believers and pastors.
Join in with this prayer from a Yemeni believer: “Lord our God, allow us to discern Your times. We are conscious of Your sovereignty, and we understand the privilege of being Your children. We understand that we are in this land to honour You, to be a witness of Your love and forgiveness. Give us courage and determination to continue standing in Your Name and on Your promises. Bless our children and help us to be an example to them. In the name of Jesus, we pray! Amen.”