Yemen is the poorest of all the nations in the Middle East with an ongoing civil war and a corrupt government. Islamic Sharia law does not permit any religious freedom, and the penalty for apostatizing from the Muslim religion is death. Furthermore, both the Islamic State and Al Qaeda terrorist groups have targeted Christians for death. Added to that, to go against one’s family by choosing to follow Jesus brings intense hostility. Many keep their faith secret, but it is estimated there are only 1,000 Yemeni Muslims who have converted to Christ. Please pray for these believers who follow Jesus in such an oppressive country.
Yemen is 99.9% Muslim and ranks 11th among nations that persecute Christians. As one of the world’s least evangelized countries, the approximately 2,500 indigenous Christians must meet in secret, and most of these believers are first-generation Christians who face the powerful wrath of their families and clans for abandoning Islam. Last fall, two Christian men—both who openly confessed Christ as converts from Islam—were brutally murdered. The first Christian man, who was killed in September, had received multiple warnings from Al-Qaeda for over six months to stop his evangelistic efforts. The second believer, who was killed in October, was most likely killed by his family, who were publicly shamed by his apostatizing from Islam in order to follow Jesus. His Christian friend said, “He wanted to take on the world for God and was preparing to do it. . . . We have hope God can give these people [the shooters] light to see what they did. I feel they will want more of the Gospel and to know more about God.” Please pray for Yemeni Christians who live and witness in such an extremely hostile environment.