Christians increasingly under threat in Yemen [CWN]


As the Yemeni civil war continues, the nation’s Christians, who numbered 41,000 before its outbreak, are “now being targeted with little hope of protection from a divided, …



[quote=Belkis Wille, Human Rights Watch researcher, via Open Democracy]More recently, there have been three attacks on Christian institutions in the southern port city of Aden, Yemen’s second-largest city. Although the city is ostensibly under government control, Islamist armed groups run rampant. On 15 September, gunmen stormed and burned down the Church of St. Joseph, one of four Christian churches in the city. A witness said that several masked gunmen wearing white shirts with the Islamic State logo emblazoned in black arrived at the church on motorbikes. When they left a fire began to burn. By the time fire trucks arrived over 30 minutes later, most of the church had burned down.

On 9 December, an explosion destroyed Aden’s Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Local residents alleged that Islamists were responsible.

And on 4 March, four unidentified gunmen entered a Christian-run retirement home in Aden and killed at least 16 people, including guards, drivers, cooks, and four nuns, the media reported. The gunmen also reportedly abducted an Indian priest. The attackers destroyed all the Christian symbols and liturgical articles at the home. The home’s residents, who were not Christian, were unharmed.

The lack of a functioning government in Yemen seems to be allowing free reign to extremists. If peace talks fail, does the threat of mini-states governed by factions offer any hope for Christians?


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