The worst place to be alive right now is in Yemen, the Middle East country that has been ravaged by war for over five years. Conflict has driven the country to the brink of famine and now the coronavirus pandemic is further harming its people. Yet, the country is often overlooked by the international media and I too am guilty of forgetting all about the situation. A recent news piece by the BBC exposed the horrific conditions in the nation, accused the international community of overlooking the desperate plight of the country’s people, and jolted me out of my apathy. I am writing this piece to encourage you to join me in praying for this war-torn country.
Why do I keep forgetting to pray for Yemen? It frustrates me hugely that I am neglectful, yet I know there are heaps of other places and people that need prayer, and I can’t possibly be aware of them all, nor do I know what I should be praying for in each crisis. Every situation is unique and complex. Sometimes the sin and sorrow overwhelm me and leave me feeling depressed and despairing. How can I remember and pray for them all?
Jesus teaches us to pray:
Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.Matthew 6:10
Is it enough to pray these words?
Let us not forget to pray for Yemen
The war in Yemen is being fought between a group of countries led by Saudi Arabia which started to bomb the country in 2015. Their aim was to remove power from a group of people called the Houthi rebels (anti-government fighters) and reinstate the government, which has fled the country into exile. The US, UK and France have supported the air strikes carried out by Saudi Arabia and have even supplied arms to them. This has been strongly criticised by aid organisations and if you live in one of these countries, I urge you to contact your elected representatives to call on them to stop arming Saudi Arabia; so many civilians are being killed.
A picture paints a thousand words and, rather than me listing a heap of horrifying statistics, I encourage you to watch this video from the BBC. It stirringly explains the multiple threats facing Yemen and if you wish to find out more there are links on the BBC Yemen page to more videos and information.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless in the face of such suffering, but as Christians we are encouraged to act like Lions and Lambs and to join in with what God is doing to end violence and help the Yemenis to flourish. Please see below for a list of organisations that need your help to assist Yemenis.
Lord, help us to remember to pray for Yemen.
Here are some links to organisations that are working in Yemen; they need donations and your action.
Oxfam UK Write to your MP
Campaign Against Arms Trade UK Sign the petition to stop arming Saudi Arabia.
World Food Programme Donate
Avaaz Save Yemen from famine campaign