SANAA, Yemen – We live in an age filled with “wars and rumors of wars” (Matthew 24:6) – an era where men speak of “‘Peace, peace!’ when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:14).
However, embraced by a culture steeped in self-gratification, the preference of many is to relax in comfort while multiple millions of people are subjected to ravages of wars and the ensuing poverty, disease, and death hanging over their head day-in and day-out.
The war in Yemen is into its fifth disastrous year, yet Americans are by-and-large blissfully ignorant of the atrocities taking place in that country. Witness the recent headlines in The National Review and TRT World that observe that the media has failed to hold anyone accountable for Yemen’s ‘forgotten war.’
The Associated Press reported on 27 March that “a hospital in a rural area of northwest Yemen was hit by an airstrike, . . . killing seven people and wounding eight others.” Now that the Syrian Civil War seems to be in its last days, the United Nations has declared the fighting in Yemen “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.” According to The Christian Post, the crisis only continues to worsen.
Food is the most urgent need. Millions of children across Yemen are starving to death because of a war they have nothing to do with. If we don’t respond immediately to this tragedy, what does that say about us — as a nation and as Christians whose goal is to show love to others?
By UNICEF’S count, 6,700 children have died in the conflict and more than 2,700 young boys have been forcibly conscripted as armed militants. According to the ACLED (Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project), as of 20 March 2019, more than 67,000 lives have been lost in the fighting.
A 25 March press release from Save the Children reported that Yemeni children are being killed or injured by “foreign bombs” at a rate of 37 per month. On 26 March, the aid organization reported that 1,000 Yemeni children are being infected with cholera every day.
Although Christians comprise less than one percent of the population of Yemen, the persecution they face is “extreme” even in the best of times. With or without war, Christians suffer persecution from families, neighbors, and civil authorities. The weight of the current crisis is an even heavier burden for Christians to bear because humanitarian aid is generally available through Islamic organizations who allegedly limit relief and aid to only Muslims.
The people in Yemen need a respite from the war. They need peace, both the kind that comes from the absence of war and the kind that passes all understanding and is available only in Jesus Christ. It may be that the only power that can bring peace to Yemen is available through our prayers on their behalf.
To read more news on Yemen on Missions Box, go here.
- Sight Magazine, Quick facts: Deadly anniversary – eight facts as Yemen’s war enters fifth year
- Save the Children, Press Releases 2019
- Voice of America, UN: Yemen Has World’s ‘Worst Humanitarian Crisis’
- OXFAM, Yemeni Crisis Forces Families to Take Desperate Measures to Survive
- AP, Save The Children: 7 killed in airstrike on Yemen hospital
- The Christian Post, What you should know about Yemen and its tiny Christian population
- Asad Amjad ChangEzi [CC BY-SA 4.0]