|Yemen is becoming increasingly hostile to Christian Believers. In a recent exhibition of hostility, extremists attacked a church as members were worshipping God.
At 6:00 p.m. Christian Believers began to assemble inside the church building in Yemen. After greeting each other, they started their worship service with prayer, praise, and singing. As they were singing and worshipping God, seven people charged into the church brandishing guns and machetes. The devout worshippers scrambled for cover as gun-carrying men yelled that the service stop immediately. As people huddled together, these angry extremists pointed their guns and weapons at them. They threatened to kill these Christians if they continued to worship Jesus Christ. One man wrathfully shouted that Yemen is an Islamic nation and he will not allow any Christians to worship there.
Later, they went around the church breaking everything they could lay eyes on. They took away all the Bibles. They destroyed expensive musical instruments, microphones, speakers, and sound mixers. They even vandalized the church's mini bus. In addition, they demanded that everyone turn in their mobile phones. Having destroyed and damaged the church building, they pilfered the belongings of the Believers. They left, but not before wreaking havoc, and issuing a blood curdling warning. These violent men said they would return and kill Christian Believers if they continued to worship in the church.
Though visibly shaken by the traumatic experience of being held to a knife's edge, these Believers are grateful to God for His protection over their lives. They praise God for sparing their lives even as they stared death in the cruel glint of the frenzied extremists' eyes.
This recent attack is among a series of attacks on Christians in this largely Islamic nation. In March extremists killed a Christian teacher from the United States. They claimed to have killed him because he was "one of the biggest proselytizers" in Yemen.
Islam is the state religion and Sharia law (Islamic law) is practiced. The government prohibits conversion or proselytizing of Muslims. When a Muslim becomes a Christian Believer, he/she comes under attack and is persecuted by society, even by family. In spite of the oppression and hardships, Believers continue to worship and share the Gospel with those around them. Open Doors reported that the number of Muslim Background Believers has grown from 500 to 1,000 Christians.
These Christians are incredibly courageous. They choose to worship God even when machete-wielding mobs threaten and terrorize them. The Pastor of the church said that no ploy of the enemy would thwart their devotion to Jesus Christ. He said they have worship service daily at 6:00 p.m. and they will not give up until Christ returns in glory.
Praise God for His protection over these Christian Believers who were attacked by extremists (The Bible, Psalm 121:7).
Pray that these Believers find another, safer location to conduct worship services (The Bible, Psalm 36:5).
Pray for continued protection for Believers as they meet to worship God in the face of the many threats and warnings (The Bible, Psalm 27:3.)
Pray God gives back to Christians, who are persecuted for His name's sake, all they have lost (The Bible, Habakkuk 3:19).
Pray God works in the hearts and minds of these extremists, so they will acknowledge Christ, the Son of the Living God, as their Savior (The Bible, Romans 5:8).