Out of the 25 million that live in Yemen, only a few thousand profess Jesus. The severe persecution for the Islamic-based culture has left Christians forced to meet in secret or left them in isolation.
Church leaders in the Arabian Peninsula have requested prayer for the country of Yemen, including its Christian communities, following the destruction of a church building in Aden amid the current warfare.
Catholic church leaders report that the church of the Immaculate Conception in the al-Ma’ala area of Aden was destroyed in an aerial bombing raid during the night of May 11. The adjoining priest’s residence was also destroyed. The priest was not present at the time of the airstrike. The church building, constructed in 1960, is one of very few church buildings in Yemen (all of them in Aden) that have been permitted to host services for the expatriate Christian community. Christian gatherings also take place in private locations.
In recent weeks, airstrikes led by Saudi Arabia have targeted Houthi rebels, the Zaydi Shi’a group that has seized control of much of the country. It is understood that the church was hit during a raid targeting Houthi positions. The current conflict has led to a deepening humanitarian crisis in Yemen.
Church leaders request our prayers that:
· peace and justice will be restored in Yemen
· humanitarian aid will reach all who are in need
· the small remaining expatriate Christian community in Yemen will know the Father’s comfort and strength, and the Son’s close presence
· all Christians in Yemen will know the Spirit’s guidance in every aspect of their life and witness