3 Indians arrested in Maldives over idolatry charges

Migrant workers publicly practice idolatry in F. Bilehdhoo on September 1, 2022. | Photo: Social Media

Bilehdhoo, Maldives – Three Indians have been arrested in the island of Bilehdhoo, Faafu atoll over idolatry charges.

The three individuals arrest came after a video of them carrying a handmade idol surfaced on social media last Thursday resulting in a public uproar against them and the island council.

Police reveled that a 27-year-old male, a 37-year-old male, and a 39-year-old male were arrested and remanded for 10 days under a court order.

According to local sources the men had handmade the idol and painted it themselves to pray and later sunk it in the sea.

Under the Maldivian constitution non-muslims living in or visiting the country are prohibited from openly expressing their religious beliefs, holding public congregations to conduct religious activities, or involving Maldivians in such activities. By law, those expressing religious beliefs other than Islam face imprisonment of up to five years or house arrest, fines ranging from MVR 5,000 to MVR 20,000 (USD 320 – USD 1,300), and deportation.