Area: 298 sq km
1,200 coral islands in 20 administrative groups, 600 km southwest of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean. Only 202 islands are inhabited. These have an average size of less than 1 sq km. Average elevation is one metre.
Population: 313,920 Annual Growth: 1.43%
Official language: Dhivehi of Sanskrit origin Languages: 2 All languages
Largest Religion: Muslim
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The desire to honour human rights and increase freedoms has been expressed by the current government, but freedom of religion is highly unpopular and violent opposition to it has been promised. Grassroots religion has shifted in a decidedly Islamist and Arabized direction, losing its indigenous Maldivian roots. Pray for the future of the people of the Maldives, torn between oppressive religion and empty freedoms.
The Maldivians are still among the least evangelized on earth. Neither mission work nor Christian literature has ever been allowed. Paradoxically, the government denies the existence of Christianity among Maldivians while arresting those who do believe. The perception of Christianity is so bad (largely due to Western media and tourist immorality) that political opponents use the term Christian to slander one another. Pray for the true name and nature of Jesus to be made known in this nation. Pray that the states contradictions and heavy-handedness toward Christianity would generate great curiosity.
For an additional 5 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Maldives.