Christian literature distributed to resort workers

Male, Maldives - A Swiss tourist was discovered to be distributing Christian literature to employees at Reethi Beach resort yesterday.

Ahmed Nasir, the assistant manager of the resort, said employees informed management about the guest, who was on his honeymoon, last night.

When questioned, the man told Nasir he was aware that handing out Christian literature in the Maldives was illegal. He added he was not part of a sect but distributing the books was his own personal choice, said Nasir.

Police questioned the couple, who left the Maldives this morning. Police Sergeant Ahmed Shiyam said the matter was still under investigation.

Speaking to Minivan News today, Mauroof Zakir, vice-president of Tourism Employees’ Association Maldives, said he had also been contacted by Reethi Beach employees regarding the books.

He was told that the guest distributed around ten copies of the book, translated into Dhivehi, to housekeeping staff yesterday and several more copies to waiters last night.

“The employees couldn’t say anything to the guest but they immediately went to the management,” he said, adding he had never personally heard of a guest distributing Christian literature at a resort before.

Zakir added the guest had travelled to two inhabited islands, Kamandhoo and Kihadhoo, during his trip and had distributed a further five books.

He said he had been informed that police had collected many of the books.

The Adhaalath Party published a statement about the incident on its website today. The statement notes that the tourist had handed out copies of the 60-page book to many employees on the island.

The party requested all copies of the book to be sent to the ministry of Islamic affairs.

“Nothing like this should be done in the Maldives. All our beloved citizens should be alert to these proselytising activities,” the statement said. “We must be vigilant and aware of these activities and these people to protect our youth.”