North Yemen became independent of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. The British, who had set up a protectorate area around the southern port of Aden in the 19th century, withdrew in 1967 from what became South Yemen. Three years later, the southern government adopted a Marxist orientation. The massive exodus of hundreds of thousands of Yemenis from the south to the north contributed to two decades of hostility between the states. The two countries were formally unified as the Republic of Yemen in 1990.
The Yemeni constitution declares that Islam is the state religion and Sharia is the source of all legislation. Conversion is forbidden for Muslims and Muslim-background believers face persecution from authorities, family and extremist groups who threaten ‘apostates’ with death if they do not revert.
Yemen is very unstable and has deteriorated since the Arab Spring riots of 2011. Kidnappings of foreigners occur regularly, Muslim-background believers face strong family and societal pressure, and Christians are believed to be under surveillance by extremists. Large numbers of expats have left the country and the number of indigenous believers is estimated at a few hundred.
The government used excessive force to crack down on protestors after 10 months of mass protest caused by high unemployment levels and government corruption. In February 2012, elections were held and the Acting President and only candidate Mansour Hadi was sworn-in amid a climate of violence. The country is divided between pro- and anti-Saleh forces, the south is claiming independence. There is a strong tribal system and small al-Qaeda-linked groups struggling for power
There are about 4000 Catholics in Yemen.They belong to the Apostolic Vicariate of Arabia. The World Christian Encyclopedia, Second edition, Volume 1, states the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church as largest denominations in Yemen. In Aden there are three Catholic churches and one Anglican Church. In Sana’a there are weekly Protestant services. Christian missions from several countries are active in Yemen. There are hospitals that belong to foreign Christian institutions.
Protestants make up less than 1% of the population of Yemen. An American Baptist congregation is affiliated with a hospital in Jibla. The Anglican Church runs two charitable clinics in Aden. The relations between Christians and Muslims contribute to religious freedom.[
We are looking out for Churches and other Christian organizations in this country that are willing to distribute DPM material.
Please contact us if you require any further information for our activities in this country.