The Maldives ranks high on the list of governments that restrict religious freedom. Maldivian citizens have to be Muslim and cannot practice any religion other than Islam. Non-Muslim foreigners cannot vote, worship publicly, obtain citizenship, and hold public positions.

Journalist Hilath Rasheed notes that Maldives perhaps will not be able to establish freedom of religion in the next 50 years until the mindset changes among the new generations of Maldivians.