The Yemeni government accused Houthi rebels of banning the Tarawih in areas under their control on Sunday. Tarawih are special night prayers during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Houthis “seek to impose by force their ideas and sectarian beliefs imported from Iran,” according to Yemeni Information Minister Moammar al-Eryani.
He further said in statements carried by the state news agency Saba that the Houthis are “targeting sectarian diversity and undermining the principle of coexistence in Yemeni society.”
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Muslim scholars and rights groups were urged to condemn the Houthi practices and their assaults on mosques by the Yemeni minister.
There was no comment from the Houthi group with regards to the accusations made by al-Eryani.
Since 2014, when the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital Sanaa, Yemen has been engulfed by violence and instability.
A Saudi-led coalition has worsened the situation in a bid to reinstate the Yemeni government, resulting in one of the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crises.
According to UN estimates, nearly 80 percent, or about 30 million people, are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection, and more than 13 million in danger of starvation.