Year: 2021
World Watch List: 07
Score: 87
Leader: President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi
Population: 30.2 million
Christian: A Few Thousands
Main Religion: Islam
Government: Republic
Source of Persecution: Islamic Oppression
Open Doors supports the persecuted church in the Arabian Peninsula through:
  • Prayer support
  • Distributing Scripture resources
  • Training believers and pastors

Meet “Nasser”

“Lord, help us as we’re tired of this senseless war, the blood and the anxiety the people live under. Instead, we pray for the Kingdom of God to be established in Yemen.”



Persecution Type: Clan oppression, Islamic oppression, Dictatorial paranoia, Organized corruption and crime 

What does persecution look like in Yemen?

Christians in Yemen usually keep their faith secret, because if they are discovered then they could face the death penalty. Leaving Islam is forbidden, and all Yemenis are considered Muslims by the state. 

It’s not just the authorities who persecute Christians. Islamic militant groups threaten Christians from a Muslim background with death, and tribes may kill or banish anybody converting to Christianity. 

The ongoing war, humanitarian crisis and COVID-19 pandemic in Yemen are impacting all citizens, but Christians are additionally vulnerable because emergency relief is mostly distributed through organizations that use local Islamic leaders and local mosques to give aid. These are believed to discriminate against anybody who is not considered to be a devout Muslim. There are accounts of Yemeni Christians being refused treatment at under-resourced hospitals. 

Who is most vulnerable to persecution?

Christians from a Muslim background are most vulnerable to persecution – and these now make up most of the Christian population of Yemen, since the ongoing war has led many expatriate and migrant Christians to leave the country. The south of the country, where there is a strong Al Qaeda presence, is particularly dangerous. 


  • Pray for the Yemeni people after a year in which the war continues alongside floods, locusts and COVID-19. Pray that peace will come to the country and that people can start rebuilding their lives.
  • Pray for secret believers and secret house churches, that they would have wisdom and discernment as they support believers.
  • Pray for those taking great risks to provide seekers and new believers with discipleship support. Pray for safety as they travel through conflict areas, and that God will use them to raise up new and gifted leaders in every part of the country.

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    2020 World Watch List Map

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