During the 40 days of Lent I’m committed to praying each day for Christians in the 40 countries where the cost of being a follower of Christ is highest. I invite you to do the same. The information on the prayer needs of each country comes from a combination of Open Doors, Barnabas Fund and Operation World.
Today we are Praying for Yemen
Islam is the state religion and sharia (Islamic law) is the source of all legislation. There is some religious freedom for foreigners, but evangelism is prohibited; several expatriate workers were deported in 2010. Yemenis are not allowed to leave Islam; those who do may face persecution from family, the authorities, or extremist groups. Insecurity caused by terrorist movements and separatists made Yemen very unstable in 2010. Four of the nine foreign Christians kidnapped in June 2009 remain missing.
Answer to Prayer
Increasing numbers have encountered Jesus. Despite difficult circumstances – opposition from culture, religion and families – increasing numbers are finding life in Christ. Through radio broadcasts, Bible distribution, tactful faith sharing and the Lord’s use of dreams and visions, God is drawing more and more people to Himself. At this point, they meet secretly and only in small groups. Praise God for the growing number of followers of Jesus who are learning how to honour their culture and family while still being faithful to the Lord. Fewer seek to emigrate as they understand that they can be faithful followers without travelling to the West.
Challenge for Prayer
Yemen has suffered almost unending conflict over the last four decades – three civil wars, conflict with neighbouring states, the effects of the Gulf War, Somalia’s collapse into anarchy, the Ethiopian/Eritrean war and tribal skirmishes. Tensions between Shi’a and Sunni Muslims make Yemen ripe for sectarian violence, to the point of insurgencies or even outright civil war. The treasured right of Yemenis to bear arms fuels tribal rivalries, while kidnapping, crime and sabotage are common forms of protest and fundraising. There are between three and four firearms for each person in the country. Pray for a fair and just government that will bring about national unity and peace.
- That local believers can meet together in safety and that strong bonds of trust can be built
- For the two young German girls rescued in May 2010 after being kidnapped in 2009. There is still no news of their parents and baby brother – pray for a breakthrough.
- For the continued spread of the gospel through Christian radio programmes and other Christian media.