OVERVIEW: 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 arrest or expulsion from the country. The Maldivian government seeks to eliminate or greatly minimize outside influences on their cultural identity, which includes complete commitment to Islam.
MAJOR RELIGIONS: 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.
PERSECUTOR: The government is the main persecutor, with some family persecution.
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CHRISTIAN IN MALDIVES: The oppressive anti-Christian environment makes the Maldives one of the world’s most challenging regions for Christian work. New converts experience extreme social pressure. 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 the Scriptures through Bible apps or 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.
VOM WORK: VOM uses creative, secretive methods to share the gospel inside the Maldives.