Malaysia’s Constitution defines ethnic Malays as Muslims, leaving Malays with no choice but to identify as Muslim. They are dominant politically, and benefit from positive discrimination in business, education and the civil service, but a large ethnic Chinese minority holds economic power. The communities coexist in relative harmony, although racial . . . Read More


The Maldives government claims that every one of its citizens is a Muslim. Migrant Christians are closely monitored and their meetings restricted, while Maldivian converts to Christianity are forced to keep their faith completely secret. Owning a Bible can result in a prison sentence; converting to another religion can lead to . . . Read More


Although Islamists have been dislodged from territory they previously controlled, the legacy of their 2012 takeover has been a more radicalised society that is even less hospitable to Christians than it was before – especially those who have converted to Christianity from Islam. Despite a 2015 peace deal with the . . . Read More


Under military rule for more than 30 years, Mauritania’s government tries to shore up its legitimacy among Islamic groups and hold on to power partly by being hostile to Christians – particularly those from a Muslim background. Converts to Christianity also face pressure from their families, as they are seen as . . . Read More


Mexico’s ongoing struggle against organised crime affects all Mexicans, but especially the most vulnerable groups in rural areas, including minority Christian denominations. Christians who actively engage in transforming society constitute a threat to drug cartels and other criminal groups. In indigenous-heavy regions, those who convert from indigenous traditional beliefs to non-traditional Protestant . . . Read More


Moldova is Europe’s poorest country, and the former Soviet republic is trying to determine where its future lies. The 2014 parliamentary elections exposed the country’s division between embracing the European Union or the Moscow-centric Eurasian Economic Union. The new president, Igor Dodon of the Socialist Party, leans towards the latter. Since 2014 . . . Read More


Officially Islamic, Morocco can also be culturally Western in areas such as Casablanca. Its young people are highly educated and underemployed. Freedom of speech and expression is generally respected in practice, as long as Islam, the monarchy and territorial integrity are not criticised. King Mohammed VI has ruled over some . . . Read More


Majority-Buddhist Myanmar is made up of eight major and eight minor ethnic groups, each of which hoped for autonomy after Burmese independence 70 years ago, and some of the world’s longest-running civil wars continue here. Operation World, a Christian missionary organisation, calls Myanmar “a deeply fractured nation on a political . . . Read More


There was a time when Nepal’s communist government was the biggest threat to the country’s Christian minority. Today the main source of pressure is the religious nationalism of Nepal’s Hindu majority. The country’s new Constitution declares Nepal to be a secular state; at the same time, it also forbids anyone . . . Read More


Niger has an unusual story to tell: a military overthrow in 2010 that resulted in a new constitution and improving conditions for political and civil groups, and expanding press freedom. However, the government has responded to the Boko Haram insurgency in part with tightening restrictions on the press. The tiny . . . Read More