|Last year’s rank||5|
|Population||31 155 000|
|Christians||A few thousand (Open Doors estimate)|
It is extremely dangerous to be a Christian in Yemen, due to the country’s strict Islamic laws and the presence of militant Islamic groups. It is illegal to convert from Islam to Christianity. Yemeni Christian converts are at great risk of being killed, not just ostracised, by their families, clans and tribes.
Most believers from a Muslim background choose to practise their faith covertly. They cannot gather, because of the growing fear that neighbours will report them to the local authorities.
All Yemenis are affected by the humanitarian crisis caused by the ongoing civil war, but Yemeni Christians are additionally vulnerable since emergency relief is mostly distributed through local Muslims and mosques, which allegedly discriminate against all who are not considered to be devout Muslims.
Yemen has risen two places on the WWL since last year due to a slight increase in the number of reported violent incidents against Christians. Pressure on converts is at extreme levels in all spheres of life. Christians in Yemen face physical and mental abuse, sexual harassment and rape, as well as forced marriages.
“When I came to faith, I thought I was the only believer in Yemen. For a long time, I didn’t know any other Yemeni Christians.”
How does Open Doors support our family in Yemen?
Open Doors supports the Body of Christ in Yemen by distributing relief aid and Christian literature, and offering shelter, protection and livelihood training to persecuted believers and their relatives.