Maldives Information

  • Current Ministry Project

    VOMC works with proven ministry partners who are broadcasting quality radio programs to equip and encourage believers in the Maldives.

    Project Fund: Underground Church

  • Country Information

    521,021(2023 est.)

    Ethnicity (%)
    Homegeneous mixture of Sinhalese, Dravidian, Arab, Australasian, and African

    Religion (%)
    Sunni Muslim (official)

    President Mohamed Muizzu (2023)

    Government type
    Presidential Republic

    Legal system
    Islamic religious legal system with English common law influences, primarily in commercial matters

    Source: CIA World Factbook

  • Pray for Maldives

    Pray for Maldivians who believe – for their protection and courage in the face of great trials and for opportunities to grow in and spread their faith.

    Pray that the religious freedom of Maldivian Christians will be recognized.

Maldives News

  • Indian teacher arrested and deported for owning a Bible
    Parliament building in Male, capital of the Maldives.
    Photo: Compass Direct News

    Police in Maldives arrested and held Shijo Kokkattu, a 30-year-old teacher from India, for more than two weeks before deporting him earlier this month for keeping a Bible in his home, according to a foreign source in the capital city. Shijo was arrested during a police raid in late September prompted when his colleagues found Christian materials on a school computer he had used and reported it to authorities.

    The country's 2008 Constitution is decidedly anti-Christian and states that a "non-Muslim may not become a citizen of the Maldives." Expatriates following other religions can practice their faith only individually and within their respective homes. Last month, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs published new regulations to control propagation of non-Islamic religions in the country. Any violation is punishable by imprisonment of between two and five years, banishment or house arrest. Foreigners who are found proselytizing are to be deported.

    Please pray that Shijo's position would be restored and that the Maldivian authorities would relent in their efforts to further restrict and repress the Christian faith. Please pray that Christian leaders and teachers would continue to persevere in their efforts in Maldives despite the risks to their careers and well-being. Pray that religious freedom will be respected in Maldives.

    Go to the Maldives Country Report for more on persecution in Maldives.

  • Prospects of religious freedom appear grim

    Other than Saudi Arabia, the Maldives is the only nation that claims a 100-percent Muslim population. However, the Indian Ocean archipelago featuring 1,192 islets southwest of Sri Lanka has more than 70,000 expatriate workers representing several non-Islamic religions, including Christianity. Those who intermingle must exercise caution. "Even if you engage any Maldivian in a discussion on Christianity and the person reports it to authorities, you can be in trouble," said a source who requested anonymity. "A Maldivian youth studying in Sri Lanka became a Christian recently, but when his parents came to know about it, they took him away. We have not heard from him since then." The source added that such instances are not uncommon in the Maldives. Abdulla Yameen, brother of the former dictator of the Maldives and leader of an opposition party ally, said that on May 28 a 37-year-old Maldivian citizen, Mohamed Nazim, was attacked after he told a gathering that he was not a Muslim. Before a crowd of around 11,000 Maldivians, Mohamed told a visiting Indian Muslim televangelist, Zakir Naik, that although he was born to a practicing Muslim family, he was "struggling to believe in religions." When Mohamed asked Zakir about his "verdict on Islam," many called for Mohamed's death while others beat him. "See how the public went after his throat," said Abdulla, proud of their "passion" for Islam. Asked if such passion was good for a society, he replied, "Yes. We are an Islamic nation, and our religion is an important part of our collective identity." (Source: Compass Direct)

    Please pray the Lord will break down the restrictions in this nation to share the Gospel. Pray He will raise up bold believers to make the most of every opportunity to share their faith. Pray for wisdom for of all believers as they serve Christ.

    To find out more about the trials facing Christians in the Maldives, click here.