Persecution Update, November 2016: The Maldives

The Maldives is a tiny and beautiful South Asian island republic located in the Indian Ocean southwest of India. It has a population of approximately 400,000 people, and the official religion is Sunni Islam. Surprisingly, the Maldives ranks #13 on the list of countries that persecute Christians. According to the government, there are no Christians in the country, and reports indicate that Maldivians are among the least evangelized people in the world. In fact, all Christian materials, including Bibles, are illegal. However, there are estimated to be about 300 evangelical believers who meet in underground house churches. Foreign workers and tourists are subject to deportation if they attempt to connect with or worship with these Christians. In two separate incidents, an American and a Bangladeshi believer were arrested, jailed for nearly a month, and then deported for bringing Christian literature into the country. Please pray for the Gospel’s advance in the Maldives, for Spirit-given boldness to proclaim Christ, and for special grace for persecuted believers in this hostile country.