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The difference in ideologies between the North and South Yemen has presented exceptional opportunities for Christians to evangelize to the unreached people group of Yemen (CIA Government Library, 2013). Yemeni Arabs, who most scholars consider as the original Arabs, are…
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Unreached People Group Project of Yemen Unreached People Group Project of Yemen The difference in ideologies between the North andSouth Yemen has presented exceptional opportunities for Christians to evangelize to the unreached people group of Yemen (CIA Government Library, 2013). Yemeni Arabs, who most scholars consider as the original Arabs, are categorized as unreached group of people. Mission organizations define unreached people groups as any ethnic group that has less than two percent of its population as evangelical Christians. It is an ethnic group lacking an indigenous population of believing Christians who can proclaim the gospel to reach the rest of the group (Hamilton, 2005). The Joshua Project uses two percent of an indigenous population as the minimum percentage of a population that can impact an entire nation (Hoskins, 2005).
Yemen unreached status stems from their topography which varies from hot coastal plains to cool mountains, and scorching deserts. This climatically challenges missionaries willing to spread the gospel there (Joshua, 2009). Secondly, their social and tribal structure has prevented penetration by Christians since all persons and goods passing through their towns are strictly controlled. They have various tribes which are ruled by Arab Chiefs who often fight each other. The belief system is the third reason for their unreached status. Despite being predominately influenced by Islam religion, the different Islamist sects complicate evangelism even further. Zaydis which is the largest sect is obsessive and warrior-like. They view all wars as a crusade against all non-Muslim believers to the extent that any Muslim converting and professing faith in Jesus Christ can be killed (McCarthy, 2004). This belief system and antagonism towards the Gospel creates major challenges to any evangelization efforts to this unreached group of people.
The Great Commission forms the basis of missions in the Christian faith. Christ Himself commanded his followers in the Great Commission to go out and spread the gospel to the ends of the world. In a bid to obey this commandment, Christian missionaries travel to the furthest corners of the world so as to reach the unreached groups with the gospel message (The Yemeni Arabs, 2012). They have devised creative ways of reaching such groups for example extending hospitality, sinking boreholes, providing health care amongst other ways. Despite all this well intended cause, the missionaries experience unspeakable challenges as they try to reach out. They face rejection, persecution, battle with doubt and even death. On the brighter side, there are some missionaries who witness the fruits of their labor such as seeing totally transformed lives of people who had never before heard the gospel of Christ. Their faith in Christ’s assurance that he himself will be with them at all times, keeps them strong and willing to reach out to unreached people groups (Unengaged Unreached People Groups, 2012).
Yemeni Arabs are from North and South Yemen is one such group. With a population of over 24 million people, Yemen only has 15,000 – 25,000 both indigenous Christians and non-native Christians practicing their faith underground with majority being non-native. These non-native Christians are refugees from neighboring countries (Yemens Forgotten Christians, 2013). This thesis will assess the current status of Yemen unreached groups and efforts by Christian missionaries to fulfill the Great Commission by consciously but creatively spreading the gospel and knowledge God’s love to the unreached. This is evaluation will be done through surveying relevant academic journal and books, interviewing missionaries to Yemen, academic journals and in some cases, discussing with religious refugees to Yemen. I will conclude by discussing the missiological impact of missionary work towards the unreached people group of Yemen.
CIA Government Library. (2013). The world factbook. Retrieved from
Hamilton, A. (2005). Christianity and world religions. Nashville, TN: Abingdon.
Hoskins, E. (2005). A Muslim’s heart. Colorado Springs, CO: Dawson Media.
Joshua, P. (2009). Yemeni, Northern of Yemen. Retrieved from
McCarthy, C. (2004). Christians, Muslims and the Communication of the Gospel. International Review of Mission 84: 447-452.
The Yemeni Arabs. (2012). A cluster of 10 Yemeni Arab groups in 9 countries. Retrieved from
Unengaged Unreached People Groups. (2012). Global research, international mission board, SBC. Retrieved from
Unreached People Group. Lausanne Global Conversation. (2011) Lausanne committee on global evangelization. Retrieved from
Yemens Forgotten Christians. (2013). Gatestone Institute. Retrieved from Read More
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