Maldives Expels Christian Expatriate Teacher

Maldives Expels Christian Expatriate Teacher

Alifushi : Maldives | Oct 25, 2010 at 9:06 PM PDT
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It’s very agonizing to note the rate of victimization and discrimination Christians are going through in the hands of authorities in Maldives with the news of the expulsion of one expatriate Christian teacher from the country recently.

Compass Direct News (CDN) ( reports that the authorities had to transport a Christian teacher, Ms Geethamma George from India off one of the Islamic nation’s islands after Muslim parents of her students threatened to expel her for “preaching Christianity.”

It noted that on Sept. 29 a group of angry Muslim parents stormed the government school on the island of Foakaindhoo, in Shaviyani Atoll, accusing George of drawing a cross in her class.

“There were only 10 teachers to defend George when a huge crowd gathered outside the school. Numerous local residents of the island also joined the parents’ protest. The school administration promptly sought the help of officials from the education ministry,” it stated.

It continued: “Fearing that the teacher would be physically attacked, the officials took her out of the island right away. She will never be able to come back to the island, and nor is she willing to do so. She will be given a job in another island.”

CDN said that a few days earlier, George, a social studies teacher, had drawn a compass to teach directions to Class VI students. But the students, who knew little English, mistook the drawing to be a cross and thought she was trying to preach Christianity adding that the students complained to their parents, who in turn issued a warning to the school.

It noted that the school administrators set up a committee to investigate the allegation and called for a meeting with parents on to present their findings. The committee found that George had drawn a compass as part of a geography lesson. “However, the parents arrived the previous night to settle the matter outside the school.”

It observed that the authorities transferred George to the nearby island of Funadhoo after the parents threatened to tie and drag her off of the island adding that the teacher, who worked at the school for three years, is originally from the south Indian coastal state of Kerala. “Many Christians from Kerala and neighboring Tamil Nadu state in India are working as teachers and doctors in the Maldives.”

“Preaching or practicing a non-Muslim faith is forbidden under Maldivian law, which does not recognize any faith other than Islam. The more than 300,000 citizens of the Maldives are all Sunni Muslims,” CDN added.

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 Mohamed Nasheed
Mohamed Nasheed, Maldives president
Success Uchime is based in Dumaguete, Central Visayas, Philippines, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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