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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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christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

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    • Give thanks that members of a Pakistani Christian family who have been trapped in bonded labour for years have been rescued by Barnabas partners. The owner of the brick kiln where they worked had kept them enslaved by withholding their wages and forcing them to take out a loan from him. When they tried to leave, he made them return, and he beat, tortured and threatened to kill them. The father of the family died in 2013 as a result of illness and weakness. But earlier this year, his widow sought help from our partners, and they obtained a court order for the recovery of the family. Pray for the three members who have already been rescued as they recuperate at a safe house. Pray too for the efforts to secure the freedom of six others still held by the owner. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 7 hours ago

    • About 1,500 Christians staged a protest in Lahore, Pakistan in June 2014 over the grabbing of church-owned property by the government of Punjab. Over ten large properties, including a church, schools, hospitals and graveyards, have been taken. Christian leaders met with the Lahore District Coordination Officer on 15 June to demand the return of the latest school to be seized, but when they failed to get a positive response, Christian protestors took to the streets. Pray that the provincial government will respect the property rights of the churches. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Aug 2014 00:00

    • Praise God that Pakistan’s Supreme Court has instructed the government to take specific steps to protect religious minorities from violence and intolerance. The ruling was issued partly in response to the deadly attack on All Saints Church in Peshawar in September 2013, which claimed over 100 lives. The court ordered the formation of a National Council for Minority Rights, a special police force to protect places of worship, and a taskforce to develop strategies to counter intolerance, along with further corrective measures. Campaigners for the rights of Christians in Pakistan welcomed the moves but expressed reservations about whether they would be implemented. Pray that the measures will achieve a tangible improvement in the condition of the country’s Christians. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Aug 2014 00:00

    • Loving Father, we cry out to You for the loved ones of ten Egyptian Christians who were murdered in Libya in February and March this year. We ask that You will bring your healing and peace to their families and friends and comfort their congregations in their loss. We pray for protection for Egyptian and other expatriate Christians in Libya and ask that their neighbours will not yield to requests by the militants to hand them over and get a reward in return. We pray that further Islamist attacks against Christians will be prevented and that the Libyan authorities will establish a greater measure of control over the country. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Aug 2014 00:00

    • Pray for Egyptian Christians who are leaving Libya in the face of growing violence against them. Many have gone there seeking work, but following the recent spate of killings, they are now fleeing. An Egyptian church leader has said that attacks and threats against Christians in the region are an attempt at “genocide”. Pray that what seems to be a targeted Islamist campaign to wipe Christians out of Libya will not succeed. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Aug 2014 00:00

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