Ethnic Groups: predominantly Arab; but also Afro-Arab, South Asian, European
Languages: Arabic (official) note: a distinct Socotri language is widely used on Socotra Island and Archipelago; Mahri is still fairly widely spoken in eastern Yemen
Government Type: in transition
URGENT is engaged in the following activities within Yemen:
Yemen was once famous for frankincense, myrrh and coffee, but now growing the mild narcotic qat dominates agriculture. Over 80% of the adult population chew it, nearly 40% of the national economy is involved in qat farming and 55% of all water usage is devoted to its production. An estimated 20 million working hours a day are spent chewing it. The negative effects are immense on productivity and social and family life. Attempts to alleviate poor health care, low levels of education and economic underdevelopment are all undermined by widespread corruption.
Christianity once had a strong presence, but was almost completely wiped out by the 7th Century Muslim conquest. According to tradition, Shem founded the city of Sana’a, and the Queen of Sheba reigned in Yemen and sought wisdom from Solomon three millennia ago. May the modern people of Sheba seek after the wisdom from God as promised in Isaiah 60:6.
Pray for the Gospel to go forth in power despite current legal restrictions.
Pray for freedom from the narcotic qat that holds 80% of Yemeni adults captive.
Pray for the desperate economic situation to ignite a longing for lasting hope and security.