Leader: President Abdulla Yameen
Population: 333,000 (Several Christians)
Main Religion: Islam
World Watch List Rank: 7
Officially there are no Maldivian Christians, as being Maldivian is seen as automatically being Muslim. The government is highly protective of Islam, meaning conversion to other faiths is strictly forbidden and those who do so lose their citizenship.
The pressure families and communities face to fall in line means that there are no church congregations and the few Maldivian Christians hide their faith to avoid discovery.
Christians in the Maldives are made up of expatriates, who can meet in embassies if they live in the capital, and a very small group of locals, who do not have any freedom at all. They are victims of every kind of persecution and driven deeply underground.
Every person in the country is closely watched to make sure they conform to Islam. It is impossible to officially import Christian literature and even tourists report getting into trouble for having a Bible with them.
There is almost no privacy at all, meaning Christians face massive pressure from both family and community.
There are no church congregations in the Maldives and Christians use every means possible to avoid discovery. Some Christians who have been discovered have been forced to flee abroad, and in one case a woman was heavily beaten and abused when her husband discovered her conversion.
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.