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Pray for the safety of
converts from Islam.
Photo: Flickr /
Rod Waddington (cc)

Three former Muslims have been killed in recent months, all of them most likely for professing their faith in Christ. While no arrests have been made, there is evidence that the crimes were religiously motivated.

In early September, the first victim was ambushed in Taiz, southwest Yemen, and shot 15 to 20 times, presumably by a member of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). "For six months, he had been receiving death threats from AQAP members he had known personally," disclosed a source close to the victim. "His family knew of his faith for more than a decade and, although it created tensions, they never threatened his life."

On the other hand, the second victim, who had been involved in evangelism, was shot in his home on October 2nd, leaving behind a wife and teenage son. "A lot of people didn't like the fact that he was a convert," explains a friend of the slain man, supporting the consensus that he could have been killed by a family member or another close association. In addition to being harassed for his faith by local Muslims, the second victim's house was set on fire. Referring to the evangelist's desire to reach others with the Good News of Jesus, the friend acknowledges: "He had a plan and a vision (for the lost).... We have hope that God can give these people light to see what they have done."

Civil war has persisted in Yemen since March of 2015, bringing with it disorder, lawlessness and numerous casualties. As the violence has escalated, Christians have been increasingly targeted by militants for diverting from the societal norm of adhering to Islam. This was evident in the case of the teenage convert from Islam who had been killed recently when a RPG rocket was thrown directly towards him. "Family influence in Yemen cannot be overstated," states an informative source. "The family structure in Yemen, and in much of the Middle East, works to enforce societal norms, especially adherence to Islam." Yemen has a Muslim population of 99.9 percent and is ruled by Sharia law (Islamic law). To view a three-minute video clip, addressing the challenges faced by Christians in the Middle East, please click here.

As friends and family members mourn the loss of these slain victims, may they be inspired by their martyred loved ones' spiritual fervour and unwavering devotion to Jesus Christ. In fact, please join us in praying for the ongoing work of His Holy Spirit in the lives of all who knew these faithful believers -- asking that strength and encouragement be imparted to fellow Christians, and that an earnest yearning for truth will take place in the hearts of those who have yet to receive God's gift of salvation. Also, in the midst of the nation's civil unrest, may Yemeni believers facing pressure to renounce their faith be empowered to speak the truth in love, innocent citizens be comforted, and the violence and hatred of the perpetrators be diminished so that His perfect peace may have supremacy.

Country Information

Population
30,399,243 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity
predominantly Arab; but also Afro-Arab, South Asians, Europeans

Religion (%)
Muslim 99.1%, other 0.9%

Leader
President Abd Rabuh Mansur Hadi (2012)

Government type
In transition

Legal system
Mixed legal system of Islamic law, Napoleonic law, English common law, and customary law

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Yemen

Pray that the small body of believers will find deep and sustaining joy in their faithfulness.

Pray that the gospel will penetrate the hearts of many Yemeni people.

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