Freedom of religion in Yemen

The Constitution of Yemen provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respected this right in practice; however, there were some restrictions. The Constitution declares that Islam is the state religion, and that Shari'a (Islamic law) is the source of all legislation. Government policy continued to contribute to the generally free practice of religion; however, there were some restrictions. Muslims and followers of religious groups other than Islam are free to worship according to their beliefs, but the Government prohibits conversion from Islam and the proselytization of Muslims. Although relations among religious groups continued to contribute to religious freedom, there were some reports of societal abuses and discrimination based on religious belief or practice. There were isolated attacks on Jews and some prominent Zaydi Muslims felt targeted by government entities for their religious affiliation. Government military reengagement in the Saada governorate caused political, tribal, and religious tensions to reemerge in January 2007, following the third military clash with rebels associated with the al-Houthi family, who adhere to the Zaydi school of Shi'a Islam.

Religious demography

Virtually all citizens are Muslims, either belonging to the Zaydi order of Shi'a Islam (45%-50%) or to the Shafa'i order of Sunni Islam (55-50%).[1] Jews are oldest religious minority. Nearly all of the country's once-sizable Jewish population has emigrated. Fewer than 500 Jews remain in the country. There are 3,000 Christians throughout the country, most of whom are refugees or temporary foreign residents.