BACKGROUND: The country has been trying to implement a true democratic system after having the same leader for 30 years. The elected president resigned in 2012 under heavy pressure. Maldivians are protective of their culture. While tourism is a major source of income, tourists are confined to resorts to protect the small population from outside influence.
MAJOR RELIGIONS: Islam is a defining characteristic, and all Maldivians are required to be Muslim.
PERSECUTOR: The government is the main persecutor, with some family persecution.
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CHRISTIAN IN MALDIVES: Christians must worship in secret. They gather in homes with pillows padding the doors and windows so no one can hear them. Some Maldivians and other Christians living outside the country share the gospel with those inside the country in various ways. The oppressive anti-Christian environment makes the Maldives one of the world’s most challenging regions for Christian work.
ACCESS TO BIBLES: It is illegal to import a Bible, but some Maldivians access the Scriptures through Bible apps or the Internet. There is no full Bible translation in Dhivehi, the main language.
VOM WORK: VOM uses creative, secretive methods to share the gospel in the Maldives. We also support an indigenous missionary working with Maldivians in India.