2020 WORLD WATCH LIST #8YEMEN
2020 WORLD WATCH LIST RANK: 8
LEADER: President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi
POPULATION: 29.5 million
CHRISTIAN POPULATION: A few thousand
MAIN RELIGION: Islam
PERSECUTION LEVEL: Extreme
PERSECUTION SOURCE: Islamic Oppression
Open Doors supports the persecuted church in the Arabian Peninsula through:
• Prayer support
Danger from tribe and radical groups
Yemen is a strongly Islamic and tribal nation. All Yemenis are considered Muslims. The authority of each person’s tribe supersedes that of the government’s, especially in the current political landscape. The identity of each tribe is closely intertwined with Islam – to leave Islam is equal to leaving the tribe, which is strictly forbidden. Those who decide to follow Jesus risk punishment from the tribal elders.
The ongoing war, political instability, and weak enforcement of the rule of law in many parts of the country has allowed radical Islamic groups affiliated with al-Qaeda and Islamic State to expand their operations in certain areas. These groups seek to implement a puritanical form of Islam that does not tolerate Christians.
No room for worship
The Yemeni church is mostly composed of local believers with a Muslim background. Even though the church is small, but there has been definite growth in recent years. They must keep their faith completely secret from their Muslim family members and tribe. They run the risk of honor-killing or physical violence if their families or communities discover their faith. There is no room for any open church activities or even private worship.
A country in dire need
Most Yemenis are suffering greatly in the conflict, not just Christians – around 17 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. leading to Christians being abducted and killed. However, Christians often miss out when emergency aid is distributed. It is mostly distributed through Islamic organizations and local mosques, who allegedly discriminate against those who are not considered to be pious Muslims.
• Praise the Lord that the Yemeni church is growing! Pray that He will protect the church, and cause it to keep on growing in maturity and faith.
• Together with Yemeni Christians, that God will strengthen His people who are tired of the war and establish His kingdom in Yemen.
• For the millions of people in Yemen who are in desperate need of emergency aid but are able to receive it, especially the Christians. Pray that God will be indeed be their Provider.