YEMEN: HOPE AMID CHAOS
After more than two years of a brutal civil war, many parts of Yemen have been shattered. Thousands have died and hundreds of thousands are in need of food, clean water and medical care. Numerous homes, schools and marketplaces have been left in ruins. Amid the chaos, the persecution of Christians continues - but these believers have hope.
"The Lord Almighty is the one who gives us strength and the ability to resist discouragement," says one local Christian leader who is part of a ministry organization providing for a variety of needs in conflict-torn country of Yemen.
In Yemen, Christians face intense persecution from militant groups, such as al-Qaida, but they also face persecution from their Muslim neighbors. In June 2016, Muslims interrupted a small church gathering and beat up all of the men, sending many to the hospital. Despite this and other incidents of persecution, one believer said these difficulties are "encouraging believers to build the family altar."
Although local Christians must be careful about sharing their faith, many say the war has taken some of the pressures off their community. As a result, believers are becoming more united as they share resources and to meet together to pray and worship. Their Muslim neighbors are taking note of this love and peace, and asking why Muslims kill while Christians show mercy. Christian workers from around the country are reporting a growing spiritual openness in their communities. One worker uses his role as village elder to openly share from "the book of Genesis and explain all the way until the resurrection and the victory over death and the return to heaven."
More Muslims are coming to Christ, too. A local ministry leader said, "Every two or three days we discover a new believer."
The faith community has seen new growth, including the baptism of several former Muslims during the last month. Leaders are now discussing how to best shepherd these new brothers and sisters.
Source: The voice of the Martyrs