Man arrested for selling crosses

The police have arrested a vendor for selling Christian crosses at a street market in Malé.

In a statement on Monday night, the police said the 32-year-old man had been arrested under the 1994 Religious Unity Act for selling symbols of a religion other than Islam.

The police confiscated 25 small crosses from the stall. The crosses were pendants on necklaces.

The police said officers searched other stalls at the market for crosses.

The street market, known as the night market, is held twice a year in the capital Malé.

Islam is the state religion in the Maldives. The Religious Unity Act prohibits the import or distribution of idols for worship and symbols of religions other than Islam.

The commissioner general of customs can prevent the import of items that are related to worship in other religions even if they are not explicitly mentioned in the law.