But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
– 1Peter 5:10
Yemen, once called ‘Fortunate Arabia’, boasts an exceptional landscape. It is also known for its long history of trade in frankincense, myrrh, gold, and premium coffee. Unfortunately, it is now a wasteland filled with tragedy and devastation.
It’s been eight years since the civil war in Yemen began which plunged the already impoverished nation of over 31 million people into the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Yet, Yemen endures much more than just the deprivations as a result of the war.
For centuries, the people of Yemen have been suffering from severe spiritual warfare and the oppression of darkness. Despite the tireless and sacrificial efforts of the church, believers, and also FEBA partners, it is estimated that only a few thousand of the enormous population follow Jesus Christ. The persecution and oppression against the Yemeni church, or even any witness of Christ, is extreme and many Christians are struggling more and more to survive. Only the power of God can pierce the darkness and flood their dry and weary land with the living waters of Christ.
Any international relief that arrives in Yemen is often distributed through Islamic relief agencies that discriminate against all those opposed to the Muslim faith. Apostasy from Islam is a capital crime. Leaving Islam to follow Christ often results in being ostracized by families and communities, and even death. Despite these dangers and challenges, local churches have been growing and believers and communities secretly gather to listen to broadcasts through the radios they received from FEBA Yemen. The groups also pray together often, remembering and honouring the Lord.
If it is found that when a Yemeni individual has converted to Christianity, that person is often ostracized from their family and community and faces a great threat of death, torture, or imprisonment unless they renounce their faith in Jesus Christ. This doesn’t happen often. So, out of fear, the Yemeni believers cannot publicly proclaim the Good News or their faith without facing certain punishment.
A FEBA Yemen listener wrote the following to us; “My name is Abdu*. I live in Yemen and I am a follower of Jesus. I want to tell you that although the church is growing in Yemen, it should not be romanticised. I understand that sometimes reports and stories come out of persecuted churches that may lead some to the conclusion that the Church here is superior or has greater faith or greater maturity than the rest. Many of us endure persecution, imprisonment, and torture. Yet, we praise God that we don’t deny His Son, Jesus Christ.
“When we gather to listen to your broadcasts, we are encouraged and filled with hope. However, at the same time, we grieve because of the threat many of us face for our beliefs and because it causes countless people to not come to salvation.
“Our circumstances are overwhelming at times. I have heard of some who refuse to ever meet with any other brother from our country for fear of their faith being discovered and they will be killed by their family. And I understand this. Not one of us wants to suffer. Not one of us wants to experience betrayal.”
The Lord’s harvest in Yemen is coming after years of faithful witnessing by both Yemeni believers and FEBA’s international partners as well as missionaries, many of whom gave their lives for illegally evangelising and sharing the knowledge of Christ in the country.
FEBA Yemen needs urgent prayers for every persecuted and secret believer. You can sign up for our monthly prayer chain by following the link: https://febaradio.co.za/prayer/.
You can also donate to help FEBA spread the gospel to the most unreached and persecuted communities by clicking on the link – https://febaradio.co.za/donate/.
*The names of the people who shared their testimonies were changed for safety reasons.