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Region Asia
Christian population Hundreds
Main religion Islam
Main threats • Islamic oppression

Total score






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The Maldives is an island paradise popular for welcoming tourists from around the world – but the welcome sadly doesn’t extend to Maldivians who choose to follow Jesus. This nation declares itself to be 100% Muslim, so being a citizen of the Maldives means being a Muslim.

Within the country’s close-knit communities, any deviation from Islamic values is easily spotted and reported to the authorities or Muslim leaders, so those who leave Islam must keep their faith secret. It’s so dangerous that husbands, wives and children may not even know of each other’s faith. If discovered, believers may be stripped of their citizenship, isolated from society and lose their state benefits for violating Sharia (Islamic law).

While foreign Christians – who mostly work in the tourist sector – have slightly more freedom than converts, their gatherings are strictly monitored and controlled by the authorities. Foreign Christians are strictly forbidden from sharing their faith with Maldivians. Scrutiny of expats has increased following a decree issued by the Islamic Ministry in 2022.

Radical Islam is a concern for the authorities. So far, Christians have not been a particular target for extremists, but this is more due to them keeping a low profile than for them not being considered a target.

What does Open Doors do to help?

Open Doors raises prayer support for persecuted believers in the Maldives.

Please pray

  • Pray that secret believers will be able to access the Bible in their own language this year.
  • Pray that our family will draw huge encouragement from knowing that they’re part of a global family.
  • Pray that the forthcoming presidential term will mark a softening towards religious minorities.

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