A. THE COUNTRY
The Republic of Yemen is located on the Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia. There is a long-established presidential government with a measure of democracy, but the current political situation is fragile. An internal war grows in influence, while voices of the south clamour to separate from the north. Yemen is the poorest Arab country. While oil-poor, oil still provides 75% of foreign earnings. There is high unemployment; 75% make their living through agriculture (especially the mild narcotic qat) and herding. Dwindling oil and water supplies are challenges in a country with rapid population growth.
B. THE PEOPLE
The population is ~24,256,000. The official language is Arabic.
~97% are Arab (over 1700 clans and tribes). Also 0.25% Socotri and 0.35% Mahri.
~2.6% are immigrant and refugee communities (~2% Somali and ~0.5% Ethiopian).
C. RELIGION AND CHRISTIANITY
Islam is the official religion and the legal system is based on shari’a law. Islam is very conservative and there is very little religious freedom. Most Christians are expatriates and are free to practice without proselytizing. Muslims are ~99.92% of the population and Christian ~0.08%. In the Christian category: Catholics are ~0.04% of the population, Orthodox ~0.03%, Independent ~0.01%, Protestants ~<0.01% and Anglican ~<0.01%. Yemen is one of the world’s least evangelized countries, but there are increasing numbers becoming Christian. Evangelicals represent <0.1% and charismatics <0.1%.
Operation World, Jason Mandryk. Colorado Springs: Biblica Publishing, 2010.