The Maldives are still a country living in two worlds. Internationally they have the image of being a holiday destination of paradisiac dimensions; on the other hand, the country follows a strict form of Islam and is struggling with unrest and many political challenges. This results in a dichotomy of cultures in the Maldives: one that is highly Westernized and pleasure-seeking/hedonistic, and another that is increasingly Islamic and fundamentalist. The latter was shown by several incidents during this reporting period. On February 22, 2015, former president and opposition leader Mohammed Nasheed was arrested and accused of terrorism. This shows that the current conservative Islamist government cares less about its international image than sticking true to their perception of Islam. Consequently, not even a month after the arrest, on March 13 2015, he was sentenced to thirteen years’ imprisonment without a fair trial. In response, May Day 2015 saw one of the largest protests against the government the country has ever witnessed, with an estimated 20,000 participants. Some were later dismissed for taking part in the demonstrations. In the aftermath, leading figures of the three opposition parties were detained. Towards the end of the reporting period, on September 28, 2015 there was an explosion on the president`s boat when he returned from the Hajj. His wife and several aides sustained injuries. While first reactions spoke of an accident or a technical failure, authorities now suppose a planned attack. According to the BBC, on October 24, after the sacking of the defense minister some days previously, the vice-president, Abdullah Ahdeeb, was detained as well.
Islamic extremism is increasing in this nation, and yet, it remains very closed-off, both to the gospel going in and information coming out (so we know how to pray specifically for them).
We hope this prayer guide for the Maldives will help you learn more about this nation and empower you to pray for it:
Crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches, bright blue skies.
Everything about the Maldives seems absolutely picturesque, yet these beautiful islands make up the country which ranks 13th on the Open Doors World Watch List of countries where followers of Jesus Christ face the greatest persecution.