World Watch List: 14
Leader: President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih
Christian: a few thousands
Main Religion: Islam
Source of Persecution: Islamic Oppression
Open Doors supports the persecuted church in Maldives through:
- Prayer support
The protector of Islam
In order to be a Maldivian citizen, one must be a Muslim. Citizens who leave Islam for another religion may lose their citizenship if discovered. The government sees itself as the protector of Islam and severely restricts religious freedom in the country, even for expatriates. All travellers are required to declare any non-Muslim materials they are bringing in with them. In September 2018, opposition politician Ibrahim Solih won the presidential elections in a surprise victory, but it is unlikely that the importance of Islam will lessen in the country.
Serious social problems
There are some serious social problems that has plagued the Maldives for years now. Drug addiction, sexual abuse (even of children), and high divorce rates are some of the issues. Unfortunately drug abuse is also a problem among some of the few Christians in the country. The Maldives also has one of the highest per capita rates of terrorists fighting abroad.
Living in deepest secrecy
The Bible has not yet been completely translated into the local language Dhivehi. Maldivian believers – all being from a Muslim background – live out their faith in deepest secrecy. There were some married couples who only discovered that they were both Christians after years later. Expatriate believers are technically allowed to practice their faith, but they are so strictly monitored and intimidated that they hardly dare to meet anymore. Their job contracts stipulate that they cannot share their faith with others, while their Muslim colleagues constantly pressurise them to convert to Islam.
- For the discipleship and spiritual growth of secret believers in the country. Pray that they can find fellowship and find access to the Bible.
- Pray for Maldivians to have a dream or see a vision of Jesus, that they will be led to believers who will share the gospel with them.
- For boldness and courage for believers to share their faith.