If you are planning a summer holidays to the Maldives, a paradise on earth for tourists, you should think about the Christians community hardly persecuted in the islands: Maldivian Christians must keep their faith completely secret and being found to own a Bible could result in a prison sentence. That’s why many Maldivian Christians have been forced to move abroad to escape persecution, Open Doors denounces.
Those Christians who live outside the capital sometimes meet in secret for worship, but these meetings are subject to police raids. Even tourists have reported getting into trouble for having a personal copy of the Bible since importing Christian literature into the country is strictly prohibited.
The main source of persecution is the Islamic extremism since 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‘. Citizens of the Maldives who convert to Christianity lose their citizenship and risk torture.
The Maldives is currently ranked 13 on the Open Doors World Watch List for persecuted Christians .