The Maldives has one national language, Maldivian (also known as Dhivehi). And, in order to become a citizen of the country, one must adhere to the state religion of Islam. Open practice of any other religion is prohibited. Praise God that the books of John, Luke and Acts have been translated into Dhivehi, but these books are only available to Maldivians living outside the country. Pray that lives will be transformed through the reading of these books of scripture, and those who read them will be inspired to pray for their brothers and sisters in the Maldives who can’t yet access any of the Bible. Pray for the full Bible to be translated into the Dhivehi language so Maldivians will experience the revelation of God and his love and grace through his word.
The government in the Maldives sees itself as the protector of Islam, and the judicial system increasingly reflects Sharia (Islamic law); the death penalty has been introduced as punishment for murder, even for children, and a law banning marital rape was vetoed by the president. Converting to another religion means losing your citizenship, and being found to own a Bible results in a prison sentence. Christians are only able to meet for worship in embassies in the capital. Outside the capital some meet in secret, but are vulnerable to police raids. Pray for Maldivian people to have dreams of Jesus, and be led to believers bold enough to share the gospel with them.
AIM is currently looking to send a team of aviation professionals and their families to work in the Indian Ocean Islands. Please pray for people to join this team who abide in Christ, and who will work with integrity in the aviation industry for the benefit of the country. The team will live in community with the Islanders, seeking to share their faith and see churches planted.
Prayer is needed for the young people of the Maldives where 44% of the population is under 15 years old. The extremely high divorce rate means that many children grow up without the love and care of both parents, often resulting in behavioral problems. Furthermore, the incidence of sexual abuse in the islands is staggering - most young children are abused by their stepfathers, uncles, brothers or others. It’s estimated that 70% of young people in the Maldives regularly take drugs.
In the archipelago of the Maldives, Islam is the official state religion and all citizens must be Muslims. Sharia law is observed, which prohibits the conversion from Islam to another religion - converts could lose citizenship. Although foreigners are allowed to practice their religion in private, gathering for Christian worship is prohibited, as is encouraging citizens to participate in worship. Furthermore, Christian literature is only allowed for the personal use of foreigners. As a result of these barriers, the Maldives is one of the least evangelised countries on earth, with only a handful of indigenous believers living out their faith in complete secrecy.
Population: 393,253 (2015)
Official languages: Dhivehi
GDP (PPP) per capita: $16,275 (2017 est.)
Life expectancy: 77 years
Religions: 100% Muslim, <1% other religions