Maldives - Photo: Unsplash / Yang Wewe


The Maldives, an Islamic Republic, is an archipelago of 1,191 islands in the Indian Ocean. Its culture is a blend of influences from southern India, Sri Lanka, East Africa and Arab countries. Islam is the only recognized religion, and strict adherence is strongly promoted. In order to minimize outside influence, foreigners are allowed only brief visits to the Maldives. Tourists, who freely drink alcohol and wear revealing swimsuits, are generally isolated from the everyday Maldives, where alcohol is outlawed and modesty is expected. The government faces a growing problem with youth gangs and heroin addiction. Many Maldivians live in poverty.

Maldives is one of the least evangelized countries in the world. The 0.2% figure for Christians refers to expatriate Christians. Citizens of the Maldives are automatically Muslim, and non-Muslims may not become citizens. The open practice of any religion other than Islam is forbidden. Maldivian believers are carefully watched. They suffer ostracism, mockery, incarceration and even torture. Christians cannot meet or read the Scriptures openly. Expatriate believers have been expelled, especially after sharing their faith.

Country Information

392,473 (July 2018 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Sinhalese, Dravidian, Arab, Australasian, and African

Religion (%)
Sunni Muslim (official)

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih

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.


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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 th

  • 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