The Maldives are a chain of islands in the Indian Ocean (near Sri Lanka and India) and the smallest country in Asia. If you asked someone about the Maldives, they would probably tell you about white sandy beaches and turquoise waters. The Maldives are best known internationally as a popular tourist location.
But the Maldives rank at the top of another list as well.
According to the Stratus ranking,1 the Maldives are at the very top of the spiritual index which speaks to religious expression and Gospel prevalence. That's #1 for least access to the Gospel and #1 for least Christian adherence. We'll unpack this more as we go.
"But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?" - Romans 10:14
There is no complete Bible in Dhivehi, the language of the Maldives. Translation was first attempted back in 1811 and 200 years later more than half the Bible is yet to be translated to Dhivehi.
But just having the Bible available in Dhivehi doesn't mean Maldivians have access. The Bible and any other non-Muslim religious material is not allowed in the Maldives.
Pray that Maldivians would be able to hear God's word and in their mother-tongue language so new believers can receive revelation of His love and grace through His Word.
2. Religious Freedom
Religious freedom is heavily restricted in the Maldives. No religion other than Islam is allowed in the Maldives. In fact according to the constitution, citizenship status is based on adherence to the state religion, which legally makes all Maldivian citizens Muslim. There are fewer than 10 known believers - any Maldivian who follows Jesus does so in secret or faces imprisonment or expulsion.2
Non-Muslim foreigners are only permitted to observe their religions privately.3 Sharing your faith, including sharing material are punishable by law.
Pray for protection for followers of Jesus and for Christians to have the ability to fellowship with other Christians.
3. True Jesus To Be Known
Because opportunities are extremely limited for people to be introduced to Jesus in the Maldives. What Maldivians know of Christianity is often skewed through negative reports from Western media or from Western tourists embracing a wild, carefree life while on holiday.
Pray for Maldivians to meet the true Jesus, and for supernatural ways of meeting Jesus like through dreams.
4. Missionaries to the Maldives
Because of the physical isolation of the islands and the state-curated isolation, how can Maldivians hear about Jesus unless someone goes to tell them?
According to the Joshua Project, sixteen pioneer workers are needed in the Maldives for initial church planting.4 Wisdom is needed for ministering in countries with persecution like the Maldives.
Pray for missionaries to go to the Maldives, for creative ways to minister, and for wisdom to front-line workers serving in the Maldives.
Discover More About the Maldives:
Commit to pray for Bible Translation into Dhivehi language