Yemen (MNN) — A new radio program brings the hope of the risen Christ into the Middle East’s poorest country, ravaged by war and threatened by the coronavirus.
In many parts of the world, battling the coronavirus means staying inside and washing hands. In Yemen, it means taking a couple weeks off from civil war.
Christianity thrived early in Yemen’s history as early as the sixth century. Today, it holds just a tiny segment of Christians: Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestant. Unfortunately, they can experience great persecution from the government and fellow citizens.
And now, the coronavirus
The Trans World Radio Director of Arabic Ministries says, “With the Coronavirus, we feel that it’s even in a worse situation nowadays, because they are not equipped, they are not ready to face such such an epidemic at this time.” That is why TWR wants to share with Yemen the message of hope in the risen Christ through the new radio program: Hope for Yemen.
This hope comes in two parts. First, the director says, “In the spiritual part, [we try] to share the message of hope, speaking the language of the Yemeni people, talking to them from their context and sharing with them the message of hope in a way that they can understand and put in their daily life.”
Hope for Yemen also offers practical advice on how to mitigate the coronavirus outbreak, such as practicing good hygiene and disease awareness. The director says, “So we’re trying our best, using the tools that we have, to speak to Yemenis. To help them go through this trusting a God who can really help them, save them, and guarantee a better future for them through His sovereignty.”
The Gospel and fear
How are Yemenis interacting with the Gospel, especially in a country where people are legally forbidden from deviating from their inherited beliefs? The director says Yemenis are actually very open to the new of Christ right now.
For new believers, the director says, “In terms of facing persecution, we try to instruct them to be careful not to go and announce that they have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. We try to instruct them to be wise [about] how to share their faith without putting their lives at risk.”
The balance between boldness and caution proves difficult for TWR, but the director says, “In interacting with these families, many of them, they would say, ‘We are ready to face persecution, just to be able to meet Christ, and live for Him and with Him. Because this is what we really feel gives us meaning for our lives.”
Many countries, one Body
The director says, “Arabs, Yemenis, Middle Eastern North Africans, and North Americans. We are all Christians. All part of the same body of Christ.” As such, we are responsible to weep with our brothers and sisters in the Middle East’s poorest country, and pray for them.
Pray that the civil war would end and the economic hardships with it. Pray that Many Yemenis would embrace the Risen Christ. Ask God to protect his people in Yemen.
Image from the civi war in Yemen. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)