Did You Know- Maldives Edition
Last week, the Maldives made national headlines when the President resigned at the will of an angry mob. Until that point, the general public did not know much about these tiny islands other than that they were a major vacation destination. Did you know that:
Tourism accounts for 28% of the Maldives GDP?
The Maldives are known for their colorful reefs and 1100 species of fish?
Originally Buddhists, Maldivians were converted to Sunni Islam in the mid-12th century?
The bodu-beru (large drum) is one of the main musical instruments found in the Maldives, but originated in West Africa?
Tuna fish is a commonly eaten in the Maldives?
The Maldives has a high literacy rate with nearly 94% of the population being literate?
Every citizen has to be Muslim on these remote islands. The Maldivian government views itself as the protector and defender of Islam and enjoys full support by its citizens. Churches are forbidden, evangelism is banned and the import of Christian literature is prohibited. Believers hide their faith from their families and, when discovered, are pressured to convert to Islam. In October, a foreign Christian teacher was imprisoned for 15 days and then deported after police found a Bible in his house.