Serving Persecuted Christians Worldwide - Secret believers in Yemen ‘afraid and anxious’ amid Red Sea crisis, but they see God at work - Open Doors UK & Ireland
31 January 2024

Secret believers in Yemen ‘afraid and anxious’ amid Red Sea crisis, but they see God at work

Yemen is again in the mainstream news with the Red Sea crisis. We hear from secret believers who share how the situation is impacting them, how you can pray and what God is up to amid it. 


Yemen is number five on the latest World Watch List, making it a place of extreme persecution for Christians

The ongoing Red Sea crisis has brought yet more instability to Yemen and added to the vulnerability of many of its secret believers – but they are not without hope and encouragement. 

Tension and fear

Whilst some secret Yemeni believers are unaware of the current escalations in the Red Sea – in large part due to the blocking of many international news websites – there are others who are deeply impacted.

“People are tense and live in fear because of the current situation,” report secret believers inside Yemen. “The bombardments were also very scary. The prices of essential goods will probably increase as well. The situation is tough.

“Christians are affected as a result of the increased security all over the country, especially in the capital, or areas where Houthis reside. 

“As for government-held cities, they’re already besieged. This makes it harder to move around the country as more checkpoints are in place and more questions will be asked for those roaming around and, consequently, this will affect Christians communicating and meeting together.

"During this ongoing conflict, God is working more than before!" Secret believers in Yemen

“Missile attacks in the past few days have stirred fear in the minds of individuals and parents specifically. Whenever there is a ‘new instability’ in the country, the prices skyrocket again and the local currency deteriorates. It becomes harder for people to buy their basic needs.

“What is happening today is of course an added pressure on already pressured Christians.”

“God is working more than before!”

Despite dropping two places to fifth in the latest World Watch List, released earlier this month, Yemen remains a place of extreme persecution for its small number of Christians. 

Because Yemeni society is strongly Islamic, tribal and conservative, it’s impossible for converts to express their faith freely. Radical Islam has risen and the country’s decade-long civil war, bringing a catastrophic humanitarian crisis, has exacerbated pressure on believers.

As demonstrated through the story of Saleh*, Yemeni’s Christians courageously follow Jesus, despite numerous challenges. Your prayers are key to this – and they continue to be needed as yet another challenge greets them. “We believe that God is with us, but many families are afraid and anxious at the moment,” say the believers.

It’s not the only hope that our family in Yemen are clinging to. “During this ongoing conflict, God is working more than before!” they say. “We see people asking questions and accepting the Word of God in these tough days. Pray with us that God will use this new conflict to make a new thing in Yemen. May God open new doors to serve others.”

*Name changed for security reasons

Please pray
  • That Christians in Yemen will renew their strength in the Lord and be guarded from harm
  • That the ‘peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard [their] hearts and minds in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4:7)
  • That God will use this crisis to open new doors for people to hear about Jesus. 
Top 50 booklet

Find out more about what it’s like to be a Christian in Yemen, as well as places like North Korea, China, Nigeria and Nicaragua, with our Top 50 booklet. Also includes inspirational stories, prayer requests and updates from the latest report. The resource is free and you can order as many copies as you’d like!

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