The President of the Maldives has vowed to enact a national programme to “promote Islamic unity and foster religious and national spirit”.

President Abdulla Yameen, speaking earlier this week at this year’s official opening of parliament, said the programme would begin within three months.

The Maldivian legal system has been increasingly aligned with a hardline interpretation of Sharia since Yameen, who has employed the language of Islam in re-orienting Maldivian foreign policy away from a pro-Western stance, took power in 2013.

The archipelago is home to several thousand “underground” Christians, who are prohibited from meeting for worship, building churches or owning a Bible. It is ranked 13th on the 2017 Open Doors World Watch List of the 50 countries in which it is most difficult to live as a Christian.

Source: Maldives Independent