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01/11/2020 Libya (International Christian Concern) – Libya has announced the exact location where 21 Christians were martyred by ISIS on Sirte Beach. Officials had located the site in October 2017, where they extracted the bodies after arresting one of the participants in the massacre.

The announcement comes just days after opposition forces announced that they have taken control of Sirte, a city which was previously controlled by forces aligned with the UN-backed Government of National Accord. The GNA is also backed by Turkey, who recently announced that they would be increasing their military activities in Libya. The opposition forces who are now in control of Sirte belong to Libya’s National Army (LNA), controlled by Gen. Haftar. The LNA announced that they have liberated Sirte from terrorism, after which the authorities made a public visit to the site where the 21 were martyred.

The Christians, 20 of whom were Egyptian, were kidnapped and beheaded by ISIS on the Sirte Beach in 2015. The impact of this incident was felt across the entire region and came at a time when ISIS was at the height of committing genocide against the Middle East’s Christians. The recent announcement by Libya is part of an emerging trend in the region of past persecution incidents being used by governing authorities to advance or justify their own political interests, without actually taking any significant steps to address the underlying drivers of persecution.

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