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The Maldives is one of the most restricted nations in the world, with fewer than 10 known believers. Any Maldivian who follows Christ must remain secret or face imprisonment or expulsion from the country. The Maldivian government seeks to eliminate or greatly minimize outside influences that could affect its citizens’ cultural identity, which includes complete commitment to Islam.
Even though many Maldivians have little knowledge of the Islamic faith, all Maldivians are officially required to be Sunni Muslims, and the government enforces this rule with zero exceptions.
The government is the main persecutor, and Maldivian society is aligned with the country’s commitment to ensuring that every Maldivian remain a Muslim. In addition to government persecution, seekers and converts receive tremendous pressure from their families and communities.
What It Means To Follow Christ In The Maldives:
The country’s oppressive anti-Christian government and culture make it one of the world’s most challenging regions for Christian work. Seekers and new converts experience extreme social pressure. Small close-knit island communities enable the government to maintain tight control over the population. Christian converts have been imprisoned in attempts to pressure them to renounce Christ and return to Islam, and they are usually forced to leave their homes and perhaps even the country.
Access To Bibles:
It is illegal to import Bibles, but some Maldivians access Scripture through the internet. Translation of the Bible into Dhivehi, the main language of the Maldives, is ongoing, but the work has been difficult and slow because of the small number of Christian converts. Give Bibles
VOM uses creative, covert methods to share the gospel inside the Maldives. Give to VOM’s Global Ministry
- Pray for the wisdom of those working amid the darkness of Islam.
- Pray that God will strengthen every new believer and establish a network of supportive Christians.
- Pray for creative approaches to ministry in this hard-to-reach country.
- Pray that more Christian workers will choose to minister in this Islamic stronghold.
- Pray for those working on a Bible translation into Divehi, the Maldivian language.