|World Watch List Rank||14|
|World Watch List Score||78/100|
|Leader||President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih|
|Population||452,000 I Thousands|
|WWL Rank in 2019||14|
|Persecution Level||Very High Persecution|
If you are born in the Maldives, you are born a Muslim. Leaving Islam is not tolerated and could result in the loss of citizenship, a fine or imprisonment. For the small number of Christians in the Maldives, normal church life is impossible.
Christians can’t do any religious activities in public and have no complete Bible in their native language. Christian parents often have to hide their faith and send their children to Islamic schools.
The government 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 as 'un-Islamic'. Converting to another religion means losing your citizenship, and being found to own a Bible would result in a prison sentence.
While the state does recognise expatriate Christians, church gatherings and buildings are banned, so they are only able to meet in embassies in the capital. Those who live outside the capital sometimes meet in secret for worship, but these meetings are prone to police raids. Even tourists have reported getting into trouble for having a personal copy of the Bible.
Open Doors is dedicated to supporting persecuted Christians in South East Asia through the following: