The Maldives, a chain of island atolls in the Indian Ocean south of India, is one of the very few places in the world with no institutional Catholic presence. Islam is defined in the constitution as the state religion. It prohibits any law deemed contrary to Sunni interpretation of Islam. Public conversion to other faiths is culturally impossible. Some Catholics from abroad work in embassies and other settings, and come there as tourists for the islands’ celebrated beaches, but there is no public Catholic practice there. Even foreigners who visit and work there have no organized venues for religious practice, outside of embassy compounds.


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