Mass Arrest and Torture of Christians in Libya

ICC Note: “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.

3/6/2013 Libya (Algemeiner) – Last week’s news of four Christian missionaries in Libya placed under arrest, possibly facing the death penalty for “proselytizing,” is apparently the tip of the iceberg. Yesterday, Arabic media reported that over 100 Christian Copts from Egypt, who appear to have been living and working in Libya, were recently arrested in Ben Ghazi—also on the accusation, or pretext, of being “Christian missionaries.”

What is going on in Libya? Do these reports—first of four foreign Christian missionaries, including one American, now of more than 100 Christians from neighboring Egypt—indicate that Christian missionaries recently decided to flood Libya in droves? Or are these ongoing reports an indication that post-Gaddafi Libya is simply becoming increasingly intolerant of any Christian presence?

It is becoming clear that these arrests are increasingly less about actual Christian evangelism to Muslims, and more about Muslim hostility to Christians. When the Western media reported about the four foreign missionaries, they made it a point to state that the anti-proselytism law comes from the Gaddafi era. Yet, under Gaddafi, one did not hear of such back-to-back arrests of alleged missionaries—just as one did not hear of attacks on Christian churches in Libya, such as the one that took place only two months ago, leaving two Christians dead.

Here, then, is yet another indicator of the true nature of the “Arab Spring” and the Obama administration’s wholesale support of it—hate and hostility for Christians.

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