Prayer Request From Maldivian Christians
The Maldives is a small series of islands that constitute the smallest Asian country. Situated in the Indian Ocean and gained independence from the British government in 1965, the Maldives are a majority Muslim country.
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In fact, some claim that to be called a Maldivian is synonymous with being called a Muslim. The islands of the Maldives have been moderately Islamic until the last decade with the prominence of new hard-line political movements and parties.
Even as recently as 2008 the dress code for women has become increasingly conservative.
The politics of the Maldives ran on a basically authoritarian system until relatively recently.
The country has a 0.2 percent Christian minority that is highly oppressed.
Maldivian believers are carefully watched. They suffer ostracism, mockery, and even torture. Christians cannot meet or read the Scriptures openly.
Expatriate believers have been expelled, especially after sharing their faith. Converting to another religion means losing your citizenship, and being found to own a Bible would result in a prison sentence.
With such a tightly monitored press system the possibility of the gospel spreading quickly seems rather dim, but it may be possible with certain radio programs and other media to reach out to the harshly regulated populace of the Maldives, winning footholds in an otherwise intractable socio-political climate.
As believers we should pray for the spiritual growth of all Maldivian Christians, as well as their continued safety.
In order for a more profuse flow of information to be unlocked in various media streams, prayer could also be oriented towards stemming the flow of radicalization occurring at even the grassroots level of the popular religious life.
In addition, leaders have asked for us to pray for strength in uniting with other Christians to find fellowship and encouragement. Even underground.
[Louis Kahn, Elim Center International]