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Region South Asia
Leader President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom
Population 376 000
Christian Less than 1%
Main Religion Islam
Government Presidential Republic
Rank 13
Score 78
Previous Rank 13
Previous Score 76

“This is what it’s like to live in a 100% Muslim country.”

The Maldives, world-renowned as a vacation destination of choice, is a place of intense persecution for Christians. Extreme pressure in all facets of life is a daily reality for the country’s Christians, who are at odds with the strict form of Islam that dominates it both politically and culturally. Freedom of religion is restricted, as the “protection of religion” enumerated in the country’s constitution is purely understood to mean the protection of Islam. Every Maldivian must be Muslim, according to authorities. Communities of expatriate Christians are closely monitored and have meeting restrictions, while converts to Christianity from Islam bear the worst of the persecution. They aren’t even officially recognised as existing in the country and cannot have any contact with the (mostly Indian and Sri Lankan) expatriate churches.

Open Doors calls for prayers from worldwide Christians for the few Maldivian believers in the Maldives and in neighbouring countries. Given how few Christians there are, and the strict government monitoring, they cannot meet other believers and therefore long for spiritual nourishment and fellowship.

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