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Maldives

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An aerial view of Malé, capital city of the Maldives
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Giorgio Montersino

This desirable tourist destination is anything but a paradise for the islands’ non-Muslim residents. The island nation has become even more religiously intolerant since the first democratically elected president, who was seen as liberal, was forced to resign in February 2012 after Islamists put pressure on the government, which was already one of the most restrictive in the world. No non-Muslim can become a citizen, and although foreigners are free to practise their faith in private, there are no non-Muslim places of worship.

Maldivian Christians, who number less than 0.2% of the population, are forced to practise their faith alone and in great secrecy. They are ostracised, discriminated against and put under constant surveillance. The law even requires that all parents educate their children as Muslims, whether they are Muslim or not. Those who make public calls for religious tolerance are subjected to extrajudicial detention.

It is illegal to spread any other religion than Islam, and preaching anything except the country’s officially-approved version of Islam is punishable by up to five years in jail. No Christian work has ever been permitted, and the government deports foreigners found with Christian symbols. It is also illegal to carry Christian literature; for example Jathish Biswas, a Bangladeshi Christian worker, was arrested and detained for 23 days in September 2012 before being deported for bringing Christian books into the country.

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    • It is reported that Hindu radicals have planned an event to convert 4,000 Christian and 1,000 Muslim families to Hinduism on Christmas Day. Pray for Christians in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India who are facing increasing pressure and violence since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party gained political power on 26 May. Pray that God will grant strength to His people so that they will remain faithful. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Dec 2014 00:00

    • Praise the Lord that around 6,500 homeless Christians in Kandhamal District of Orissa State, India, now have proper homes to live in, with help from Barnabas Fund. Their houses had been damaged or destroyed more than six years ago in two bouts of severe anti-Christian violence by Hindu radicals in 2007-8. Some 60,000 Christians were made homeless. Continue to pray for the speedy completion of more houses currently under construction. Pray also that God will continue to heal the victims of this terrible trauma. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Dec 2014 00:00

    • Continue to remember Pastor Tandin Wangyal, who is serving a prison sentence of almost four years in the small nation of Bhutan, only because he received funds from outside the country to help support his ministry. Ask God to sustain our brother at this time, so that he will draw comfort from God’s grace. Pray that his faith will not fail. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Dec 2014 00:00

    • Dear Lord Jesus, we pray for freedom for the thousands of Eritrean Christian refugees who have fled from escalating anti-Christian persecution in their home country, and are being detained in prisons in Egypt. You said that You had been sent to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and to set the oppressed free. We especially ask your healing for women and men who have been raped in prison, and for your grace for those who have been kept chained for months, suffering hunger, torture and abuse. Please free these faithful ones, who suffer for Your Name. (Luke 4:18,21) Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Dec 2014 00:00

    • Praise God for the continued Christian presence in northern Mali, despite the apparent desire of jihadists to wipe it out. Most of the Christians who had fled the region when Islamist radicals took control in 2012 have now returned to their homes, after French troops ousted the Islamists. Many church buildings were desecrated, looted or severely damaged, but the Christians are determined to resume their ministries. Pray for their protection. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Dec 2014 00:00

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