Ship attacks in the Red Sea will affect people worldwide. Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis have targeted commercial vessels in the Red Sea in more than 20 attacks since mid-November. This Islamist political and military rebel group is executing attacks in an effort to retaliate against Israel for their military campaign in Gaza. These attacks are likely to increase oil prices and the cost of consumer goods globally. In response, the US and British militaries have led strikes against the Houthis.
But the lack of gospel access in Yemen is affecting more than just the cost of your next device. In a country with some of the greatest physical needs, the majority of the population also has the greatest need of all.
A Need for the Gospel
Yemen is a red zone—the majority of the population will be born, live, and die without ever hearing the gospel in any form. There are over 32 million people in Yemen, yet there are only a few thousand Christians. An estimated 99% of the population is Muslim.
There are over 32 million people in Yemen, yet there are only a few thousand Christians.
Their constitution does not grant freedom of religion, but provides freedom of thought and expression “within the limits of the law.” With Islam as the official state religion, Christianity is not included within this freedom, making it illegal to convert from Islam to Christianity. To be a Yemeni is to be Muslim. Conversion to Christainity can lead to exclusion and persecution, which often results in imprisonment, torture, and death.
Furthermore, Yemen does not only have the most urgent spiritual need but also intense physical needs. Due to the ongoing civil war since 2014, Yemen has one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world, leading to a lack of food and health services. 80% of the Yemen population needs emergency aid, which is the greatest number in any country.
How to Pray for Yemen
As we hear about brokenness and sin around the world, believers must turn to prayer.
Pray for the cease of attacks in the Red Sea and for the safety of those being attacked. Pray that Houthi rebels may come to know Christ, who extends perfect justice and redemption. Pray that God may soften the hardest hearts.
Yemen has one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world.
As many in Yemen are struggling with poverty and malnutrition, pray for God to provide their physical and spiritual needs.
Despite persecution, pray for the growth of the church. The Yemeni church may be small, but we know nothing can stand against the Church (Matthew 16:18). Pray for the gospel to spread and for believers to have access to biblical teaching and community. Pray for the safety of believers in the midst of persecution and for them to have a boldness to spread the gospel. Pray for miraculous protection and for Gospel-growth like never before.
In the darkest places, we can pray for God’s light to shine, for his kingdom to come, for his peace to prosper, and for the gospel to be known.