Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE
for the Map Legend.
Sunday, March 24th, 2013
What is happening in Libya? Four Christian foreigners, including a South African, South Korean, Egyptian, and a Swede with a US passport, were arrested in Benghazi on February 10. Three days later, two more Christians from Egypt were arrested, one of whom, identified as Sherif Ramses, was reportedly tortured. Yet, that was only the tip of the iceberg. On February 27, at least 48 Christians from Egypt were arrested, one of whom died while in custody from possible torture. On top of that, a Coptic Church in Benghazi was attacked and two priests were assaulted by militants in early March. The country’s sudden persecution of Christians has led some to question whether the ‘new’ Libya has truly been liberated from the former tyranny of Muammar Gaddafi’s oppressive regime, or if one tyranny has simply been replaced by another, this time led by radical Islamists.
Friday, March 22nd, 2013
Four more Egyptian Christians were arrested in Libya last Friday, less than a month after the arrests of more than 50 Egyptian Christians in late February for allegedly proselytizing and distributing Christian literature. One of the Christians died while in prison. Though government officials say the Christian’s death was a result of natural causes, the Egyptian Christian community claims he was murdered after being tortured by militiamen. Though most of the Christians have since been released, an Egyptian, a South African, a South Korean and a Swede with a US passport who were arrested in mid-February remain in prison, along with the four Egyptian Christians that were arrested last week.
Thursday, March 21st, 2013
“In a troubling development, Egyptian Copts in Libya say one of their number has been killed by a militia while detained along with dozens of other Copts. Copts accuse Libyan militias, with the tacit approval of the government, of harassing, arresting, torturing, and now killing Christians,” Catholic Online reports. At least eight Christians remain behind bars in Libya, including an Egyptian, a South African, a South Korean and a Swede with a US passport who were arrested in mid-February, and four Egyptians that were arrested last week.
Monday, March 18th, 2013
Libya suspended work at its embassy in Cairo on Saturday following protests over the death of an Egyptian Christian in a Libyan prison last week. Though government officials say the Christian died of natural causes, the Egyptian Christian community claims he was murdered as a result of being tortured during his detainment. The Christian and more than 50 others were arrested in February for allegedly distributing Christian materials and proselytizing. According to the Maspero Youth Union (MYU), there were four more Egyptian Christians arrested in Libya on Friday.
Friday, March 15th, 2013
Militants torched a church used by Egyptian Christians in Benghazi, Libya on Thursday, a week after scores of Egyptian Christians were detained for alleged proselytization, the Associated Press reports. Although most of the Christians have since been released, at least four—including a Swedish-American, a South Korean, a South African and an Egyptian—remain behind bars.
Thursday, March 14th, 2013
The funeral of Ezzat Atallah, a Coptic Christian, was held Wednesday following his death in a Libyan prison, the Associated Press reports. While the Egyptian Foreign Ministry claimed that Atallah died from poor health due to diabetes and heart ailments, protestors suspect that poor prison conditions and possible torture contributed to his death. Atallah was one of more than 50 Christians arrested in February for allegedly distributing Christian materials and proselytizing. At least four foreign Christians, including a Swedish-American, a South Korean, a South African and an Egyptian remain in prison.
Tuesday, March 12th, 2013
Yesterday, ICC posted a news article concerning the death of Ezzat Atallah, one of the more than 50 Egyptian Christians arrested in Libya last month, who died in prison reportedly due to health problems. Naguib Guebrayel, a Coptic Christian lawyer, said that Atallah death was not because of his poor health, but a result of "being tortured with other detainees", RT.com reports. Atallah was one of five Evangelical Christians arrested for allegedly proselytizing and distributing Christian literature. Although most of the Christians have since been released, an Egyptian, a South African, a South Korean and a Swede with a US passport who were arrested in mid-February remain in prison, according to reports.
Monday, March 11th, 2013
Ezzat Atallah, one of the more than 50 Egyptian Christians that were arrested in Libya last month, died while in prison likely due to health problems, the Associated Press reports. The Christians were detained for allegedly proselytizing and distributing Christian literature. Thirty-five of the Christians were deported back to Egypt last week for illegally entering the country, while 20 were cleared to stay in Libya. ICC has yet to confirm the reasons for Atallah’s death, but there is concern that it may have been a result of harsh treatment while in prison, as many of the Christians were reportedly tortured by Libyan officials. Atallah was one of five Evangelical Christians arrested in the crackdown.
Thursday, March 7th, 2013
“What is going on in Libya?” Middle East analyst Raymond Ibrahim asks in reference to the rising persecution of Christians in the country. Four Christian foreigners were arrested in Benghazi on February 10. Three days later, two more Christians from Egypt were arrested, one of whom, identified as Sherif Ramses, was reportedly tortured. Three days after that, a seventh Christian, also from Egypt, was arrested. Then, on February 27, at least 48 Christians were arrested (with some reports placing the number at closer to 100), and some were reportedly tortured. Days later, a Coptic Church was attacked in Benghazi and two priests were assaulted. “It is becoming clear that these arrests are increasingly less about actual Christian evangelism to Muslims, and more about Muslim hostility to Christians,” Ibrahim writes.
Wednesday, March 6th, 2013
Islamists attacked an Egyptian church in Benghazi, Libya and assaulted two priests days after the arrest of dozens of Egyptian Christians suspected of proselytizing “Since the 2011 revolution that ousted the late dictator Moamer Kadhafi, Libya’s small Christian minority has expressed fears over Islamic extremism, especially with the rise of armed militias enforcing their own law in the absence of central control,” Agence France-Presse reports. Moreover, Libya’s Islamists are growing bolder with every new accusation against a Christian or other minority for proselytizing or being involved in some other type of ‘illegal’ religious activity. Sadly, the arrests of Christians and attacks on the Christian community are bound to escalate as a result.
Tuesday, March 5th, 2013
“Libyan Islamists detained 48 Egyptian Christians in Benghazi last week, torturing them and using acid to burn off tattoos of the cross,” family members told Fox News. The Christians were accused of proselytizing and distributing Christian literature. Photographs and a video circulated online showing the Christians locked in a small room and guarded by bearded Salafists. Some of the Christians appeared to be cut and bruised. The arrests began when an Egyptian, a South African, a South Korean and a Swede with a U.S. passport were arrested in mid-February. No one has been released to date, despite there being no known charges against them, and the situation is growing worse. ICC will continue to keep you updated as the story unfolds. Please remember these Christians in prayer.
Saturday, February 11th, 2012
"Rise of Islamic groups bringing wave of intimidation, persecution," World Net Daily reports.
Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
“The Arab Spring uprisings that toppled secular dictatorships have unleashed long-suppressed freedoms that have allowed Islamic parties to gain a share of political power they have been denied for decades. Their rise is creating near-panic among ancient Christian communities that dot the Muslim world and predate Islam by centuries,” The Washington Post reports.
Saturday, January 7th, 2012
“In North Africa and the Middle East, the Arab Spring is turning into a nightmarish experience for many Christians,” The Times of Malta reports. “From Tunisia to Egypt, Islamist parties have, as many realists had already predicted, gained the ascendancy. The leaders of these parties, despite being described optimistically by some high-placed western sources as being of moderate inclination, have already declared that Sharia will be the principal law in their countries.”
Tuesday, December 27th, 2011
How far will the U.K. go to protect Christians in the Middle East?
Sunday, December 18th, 2011
“The rise of Islamist movements in countries swept by the Arab revolutions has sent shudders through the region's Christians who fear for their survival and question the future make-up of the Middle East,” Agence France-Presse reports.
Monday, December 12th, 2011
“[Political Islam] may prove to be one of the most lasting legacies of the Arab spring,” The Guardian reports.
Saturday, December 3rd, 2011
“Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Saddam Hussein of Iraq each were horrible human rights violators, but ironically enough, offered a measure of protection to Christians. In contrast, nations under Shariah will look more like Saudi Arabia and Iran, where leaving Islam for any other religion is a punishable offense,” writes Carl Moeller, the president and CEO of Open Doors USA.
Saturday, November 19th, 2011
“In Libya, we find [religious] fundamentalists of all backgrounds, from those who have taken up arms, to those who are making speeches and giving sermons, inside the country and abroad, not to mention figures like Ali al-Salabi,” CBN reports. Ridical Islamists, including the Muslim Brotherhood, are gaining political influence and rising to power from Tunisia to Egypt. Fear and uncertainty increases throughout the minority Christian community.
Friday, November 11th, 2011
“The U.S. government will not oppose Islamic political parties that have quickly become leading players in the emerging democracies of the Arab Spring,” The Media Line reports. Some Islamist-based governments have announced their intentions to impose Sharia (Islamic law) which will further isolate the already dwindling Christian communities who are fleeing their homelands from religious based violence throughout the Middle East.
Sunday, November 6th, 2011
“The killing of dozens of Coptic Christian protesters during the recent turmoil in Cairo is one of the by-products of the Arab spring – and, unfortunately, a predictable one,” The Guardian reports.
Saturday, November 5th, 2011
Last week’s elections in Tunisia resulted in the victory of the Islamist Ennahda party. If the outcome of Tunisia’s elections exemplify who will rise to power after elections in other Middle Eastern countries – mainly Egypt – than the safety for Christians in the future Middle East appears bleak.
Sunday, October 30th, 2011
“Attacked by mobs and terrorists, repressed by the growing popularity of fundamentalist Islamic law and cut off from crucial business ties, Christians are fleeing the Middle East in an unprecedented exodus,” News Max reports.
Saturday, October 29th, 2011
“As the newly liberated Muslim countries from Tunisia to Egypt to Libya form new governments and institutions, one of the key questions becomes how far they will go to placate hardline Muslim forces,” Jim Sciutto writes for ABC news.
Wednesday, October 26th, 2011
“[Transitional government leader Mustafa Abdul-Jalil] laid out a vision for the post-Gadhafi future with an Islamist tint, saying Islamic Sharia law would be the ‘basic source’ of legislation and existing laws that contradict the teachings of Islam would be nullified,” News Max reports.
Monday, October 24th, 2011
Christian Today urges prayer for Christians in Libya following Muammar Gaddafi's death and this transitional period in Libya's history.
Saturday, October 22nd, 2011
The prison sentence of Behnam Irani was extended by five years, invoking a suspended sentence from 2008, Mohabat News reports.
Friday, October 21st, 2011
Please pray for Libya following Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s death, which will inevitably begin a new era in the country.
Friday, October 21st, 2011
"The people of Libya are grateful for the support they have received from Christian organizations, and I think they will provide freedom for those groups. I really do hope the persecution ends and there will be more freedom and space for the church there,” Bas Vanderzalm, president of Medical Teams International told Mission Network News.
Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
“There is concern whether some Islamic militants in the new regime might want to restrict or even end religious freedom. Perhaps the most vulnerable in this new era will be the minority Christian population,” The National Catholic Register reports.