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Christianity in South and Central Asia$
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Kenneth R. Ross, Daniel Jeyaraj, and Todd M. Johnson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474439824

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474439824.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 30 July 2021

The Maldives

The Maldives

Chapter:
(p.197) The Maldives
Source:
Christianity in South and Central Asia
Author(s):

Kenneth R. Ross

Todd M. Johnson

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474439824.003.0018

The Maldives comprises 1,190 coral atolls lying in the India Ocean to the south-west of India and Sri Lanka. the overwhelming majority of the population is Muslim, with Islam dating back to the twelfth Century. Government policy places a high premium on the Islamic identity of the country, and conversion to Christianity is punishable by loss of citizenship and, allegedly, torture. Foreign workers are legally permitted to express their faith, but only privately in their homes when no Maldives citizens are present. Catholics (mainly Filipinos), the Church of South India, the Evangelical Mennonite Church and the Seventh-day Adventists have a small and low-key presence in the country. The number of Christian believers among the indigenous population is thought to be very low, and they are obliged to observe their faith under conditions of utmost secrecy. Criticism of its record on human rights and political freedoms led the government to announce in October 2016 that it will leave the Commonwealth.

Keywords:   Maldives, Islam, Rights, Conversion, Commonwealth

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