Population: 26,052,966 (July 2014 est.)
Ethnic groups: Predominantly Arab; but also Afro-Arab, South Asians, Europeans
Religions: Muslim 99.1% (official; estimated 65% are Sunni and 35% are Shia), other 0.9% (includes Jewish, Baha'i, Hindu, and Christian; many are refugees or temporary foreign residents) (2010 est.)
History of Yemen:
The southwestern corner of Arabia was the site of a series of kingdoms that dominated world trade. The kingdom of Sheba is the best known of the South Arabian kingdoms, where the Queen of Sheba of biblical fame (1 Kings 10:1-13; 2 Chronicles 9:1-12) is believed to have originated. During the rule of the Sabaean kingdom (750-115 B.C.), spice and incense trade flourished. Competition from new trade routes undermined Sabaen prosperity and caused the kingdom to decline. The Himyarite dynasty ruled from the 2nd century B.C. to the 6th century A.D., and paganism gradually gave way to Christianity and Judaism.
The Himyarite hegemony ended in 525 A.D. by invading Ethiopians, whose rule lasted until 575 when they were driven out by Persian invaders. Yemen converted to Islam in 628 A.D. while Muhammad, the Islamic prophet, was still alive. With the conversion of the Persian Governor of Yemen, Badhan, many of the sheikhs and tribes converted to Islam. The mosques in al Janad and the great mosque in Sana'a were built during that time.
In the 10th century, Yemen came under the control of the Rassite dynasty. The Ottoman Turks nominally occupied the area from 1538 to the decline of their empire in 1918.
After the retreat of the Turks from Yemen in 1918, Imam Yahya established the Kingdom of Yemen. He was succeeded by his eldest son Imam Ahmed who stayed in power until his death in September 1962. He was succeeded by his son, Crown Prince Mohammed al-Badr, who was overthrown in a military coup. The junta proclaimed the Yemen Arab Republic.
On November 30, 1967, Aden gained independence from the British and the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen was formed. In 1979, under Soviet influence, the country became the only Marxist state in the Arab world.
The Republic of Yemen was declared when the Yemen Arab Republic in the north unified with the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen in the south on May 22, 1990. Ali Abdullah Saleh, was elected as the new president by the parliaments of both countries.
Differences over power sharing and the pace of integration between the north and the south came to a head in 1994, resulting in a civil war. The north's forces overwhelmed the south in May and early June despite the south's brief declaration of succession. The north presented a reconciliation plan providing for general amnesty and a pledge to protect political democracy.
The president's party, the General People's Congress, won in the April 1997 parliamentary elections, the first since the civil war. In 1998-1999, a militant Islamic group, the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army, kidnapped several groups of Western tourists, which led to the deaths of several during a poorly orchestrated rescue attempt. The group's leader, Zein al-Abidine al-Mihdar, threatened to continue attacks on tourists and government officials.
In 1999, President Ali Abdullah Saleh was re-elected in the country's first direct presidential election. The Yemen Socialist Party boycotted the election. Charges of fraud were made with allegations of underage voting, multiple balloting, and unauthorized submission of ballots by absentee voters.
On October 12, 2000, two suicide bombers detonated a small boat containing explosives alongside the USS Cole as it was refueling in Aden harbor. The United States had numerous clashes with Yemeni authorities during the investigation of the terrorist act.
After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the U.S., Yemen increased its cooperation with the U.S. and assisted in anti-terrorism. The father of the suspected mastermind, Osama bin Laden, was of Yemeni origin.
In October 2002, a French tanker, the Limburg, was attacked off the coast of Yemen. In April 2003, ten suspects of the Cole bombing escaped from prison. The two suspected masterminds were recaptured in March 2004.
Fifteen militants were convicted in August 2004 on a variety of charges, including the attack on the Limburg. In September, two al-Qaeda operatives involved in the Cole bombing were sentenced to death.
In September 2006 presidential elections, Ali Abdullah Saleh was re-elected. President Saleh appointed Ali Muhammad Mujawar prime minister in March 2007 and asked him to form a cabinet.
The government and a rebel group called the Houthi movement signed a cease-fire in February 2008. The truce fell apart as battles broke out again. In May 2008, a mosque was bombed in the northern city of Saada that officials blamed on followers of rebel leader, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi.
In September 2008, there was a car bomb and a rocket strike on the U.S. embassy in the capital city of Sana'a as staff arrived to work, killing 16 people, including four civilians. At least 25 suspected al-Qaeda militants were arrested in connection to the attack.
In January 2009, al-Qaeda groups in Saudi Arabia and Yemen joined to create a single branch: al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
In August 2009, the army launched an offensive against the rebels, which prompted retaliation. The government accused the Houthi of receiving aid from Iran, while the rebels contended that Saudi Arabia backed the Yemeni government. The rebel group belongs to a branch of Shia Islam.
The government of Yemen and the Houthi rebels agreed to a cease-fire in February 2010. President Ali Abdullah Saleh announced the truce and Houthi leader, Abdel Malik al-Houthi, endorsed the agreement.
Protests that swept through the Middle East in early 2011 spread to Yemen in February, with both anti- and pro-government protesters taking to the streets. Thousands of students rallied in Sana'a and Taiz and called for the resignation of President Saleh, while another bloc of protesters in Aden, demonstrated to underscore their quest for independence. The students formed an alliance, called the Joint Meeting Parties, with Islamists and other opposition groups.
President Saleh promised he would not use force against the protesters and said he would not run for re-election, but protests continued and he reneged on his promise. On March 18, 2011, protesters gathered in Sana'a. Government forces opened fire, killing dozens. The crackdown fueled anger and intensified calls for Saleh to step down. On March 20, Saleh fired his cabinet and several military leaders.
In late April, representatives from the Gulf Cooperation Council presented President Saleh and the opposition with a proposal in which Saleh would immediately pass power to his deputy and resign within 30 days. In exchange, he and his family would be granted immunity. Saleh accepted the offer, but postponed signing the agreement.
On June 3, 2011, President Saleh survived an attack on the presidential compound. Prime Minister Ali Mujawar was injured in the attack. The Ahmar family, leaders of a militia fighting Saleh's troops, were blamed for the attack.
In September 2011, a missile fired from an American drone aircraft in Yemen killed Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born Islamic cleric who was an influential figure in al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Born in New Mexico, Awlaki became radicalized as a college student and started preaching about global jihad and Islamic extremism at mosques.
Tawakkul Karman, of Yemen, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee, both of Liberia, won the Nobel Peace Prize in October, 2011, "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work."
In November 2011, Saleh agreed to step down and hand over power his vice president, Abdel Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
President Saleh left Yemen on January 22, 2012, following a vote by parliament to grant him and members of his government immunity from prosecution. Saleh went to the United States to seek medical treatment. Abdel Rabbo Mansour Hadi was the only candidate in the February 2012 presidential election. Shortly into his term, militants attacked a military outpost in southern Yemen that killed more than 100 soldiers.
On May 21, 2012, a suicide bomber struck a military parade in Sana'a, killing more than 90 soldiers. A branch of al-Qaeda took responsibility, saying the attack was in retaliation for the military's crackdown on jihadists.
In August 2013, Yemeni officials announced they foiled a terrorist attack plan by al-Qaeda. Officials said they were alerted by intercepted communications between al-Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Nasser al-Wuhayshi, head of the Yemeni group. Some analysts were skeptical that Yemen actually thwarted attacks, suggesting the announcement was politically motivated.
The National Dialogue Conference ended in January 2014, several months behind schedule. The conference agreed to establish an anti-corruption board, end childhood marriage, improve the rights of women, implement a federal system of government, and work to reduce the marginalization of southerners.
On January 7, 2015, two masked gunmen stormed the office of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical weekly magazine, and killed 12 people, including the paper's top editor, Stéphane Charbonnier, and two police officers. On January 14, Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the attack.
Houthi rebels surrounded the presidential palace complex with President Hadi inside in January 2015. Abdul Malik al-Houthi, the group's leader, demanded that a new constitution grant Houthis greater representation in government. On January 22, President Hadi, Prime Minister Muhammad Salim Basindwah, and the cabinet all resigned.
The following are some Scriptures that deal with end-time events. All prophecies concerning the nations are leading up to fulfillment of end-time judgments (events).
Ezekiel chapters 38 & 39
Zechariah 13: 8-9
Zechariah 14: 1-16
Daniel chapters 2, 4, 7-12
Matthew 24: 1-51
Mark 13: 1-37
Luke 21: 6-38
The book of Revelation
The book of Joel
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