NGOs and a UN agency stated Salafist interpretations of sharia increasingly contributed to this restrictive environment. Extremist groups have established checkpoints and control specific areas of the country. Salafist and Islamist groups, some nominally aligned with the GNA, assumed law enforcement functions. There are believed to be just under 35,000 Christians in Libya just 0.5% of the countrys 6.7 million population. According to reports by the International Organization for Migration, 12 percent of the population are migrants. Maizahs name was found and her Christian identity was uncovered. Armed groups provided security and administered some detention centers for migrants and refugees in the country, where, according to multiple international human rights organizations, Christians said they faced a higher risk of physical assault, including sexual assault and rape, than other migrants and refugees. According to the World Holocaust Remembrance Center Yad Vashem, no Jews reside permanently in the country. Open Doors USA is a 501(c)(3) organization and charter member of ECFA, the Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability. Ask God to give them warm times of fellowship with Him. Targeted kidnappings and executions are always a possibility for believers. Her parents found out and were really angry. But when Islam conquered North Africa, the Church was eradicated from Libya. like oxygen, because without oxygen you cannot breathe No matter what happens in my life, I cant leave Jesus.". The criminal code prohibits the circulation of publications that aim to change the fundamental principles of the constitution or the fundamental rules of the social structure, which are used to criminalize the circulation of non-Islamic religious material. The U.S. Embassy to Libya operated from Tunis, Tunisia, its officials making periodic trips into the country when security conditions permitted.
All rights reserved. Get the new, free brave faith journal now Indonesia: Worship songs and dreams lead Tari to Jesus, Kazakhstan: Update on Akim and his sisters who were thrown out for choosing Jesus, India: Ill keep serving God till my last breath, Pakistan: Christian man released after three years. Targeted kidnappings and executions are always a possibility for believers. Pray for those that are suffering by reading the latest prayer requests from persecuted Christians around the world.
U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations that included al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and ISIS continued to operate within the country. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, 2019 Report on International Religious Freedom, Section II. Ask God to protect Libyan Christians and grow the Church there. Click the Libya tag below for a list of the latest articles and news on Libya. Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest. Ask God to bring stability to Libya through a government that strives to enforce laws and make the nation a better place.
Bring about a change in the status quo in Libya with strong and fair government and protection for people of all faiths. One militia was involved in several arrests and detentions of individuals whom it accused of violating Islamic law. Since the revolution in 2011 the situation for Christians has got worse and worse. Estimates on the numbers of other Christian groups vary. Systemic persecution of anyone who turns from Islam is condoned and expected in Libyansociety. Embassy representatives discussed religious freedom on a number of occasions with a variety of local and national leaders. The GNA did not exercise control over large parts of the country, including in the south and east. Her family moved to Egypt where they had a Christian neighbour who explained to Maizah that the man she saw was Jesus.
This included intense social and economic pressure on former Muslims to return to Islam. 2 percent are Christians, including very few evangelicals. Telling others about Jesus can lead to arrest and even violent punishment. Their community ostracises them, and they can be left homeless, jobless and alone. Targeted kidnappings and executions are always a possibility for believers. Federal Tax ID# 23-7275342. Open Doors works with local partners and churches in North Africa to raise prayer support, training and literature, and advocate for justice for believers. Their neighbors and the rest of the community ostracizes them, and they can be left homeless, jobless and alone.
Religious minority communities other than Christians and Jews, however, are not accorded equal rights under the law.
Global AIDS Coordinator and Global Health Diplomacy, Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Special Representative for Syria Engagement, U.S. Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Office of the U.S. It comes from the top of the government, from the ministers from the security apparatus, down to the extreme Muslims that operate in Libya: al-Qaeda and the Salafist movements., But a lot of persecution also comes from families, who seek to preserve their honor. Friends and family also severely persecute converts. They all went back to Libya and Maizah was part of a secret church. Their crime?
Three opposing governments vie for control, and the conflicts have severely damaged the countrys infrastructure and made gospel work in the country extremely difficult. Lack of legal protections and changing rules of property ownership have meant even approved expatriate congregations that have met in a facility for decades can suddenly face eviction for no reason other than the new owner wants to use the property. Some areas of the country, including the eastern part, operated under the influence of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) and LNA-affiliated armed groups. In Tripoli, according to civil society representatives, some militias and armed groups, such as the Nawasi Brigade, imposed restrictions on womens dress and punished men for behavior they deemed un-Islamic..
You can connect with Open Doors in your country. Jesus is U.S. Government Policy and Engagement. Life is difficult in Libya, and the difficulties are compounded for Christians and especially Christian converts from Islam. Embassy officials frequently met with human rights activists, including MEC, the AOHRL, Human Rights Watch, and independent activists and researchers to address religious freedom issues. 2019 Report on International Religious Freedom: Libya, An official website of the United States Government.
Extremist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood and the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS), operate throughout the country.
Sammy serves with Gospel Work Libya. In 2015, Open Doors USA estimated 150 to 180 of these were Libyan nationals who converted from Islam. The U.S. government supported international efforts to end the conflict and establish a unified, stable, democratic, and tolerant Libyan state, and continued to raise issues of religious freedom in conversations with authorities, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and others. The GNAs response to instances of violence against members of minority religious groups within the parts of the country it controlled was limited to condemnations of acts of violence. 1125684. Ask God to give them warm times of fellowship with Him. Christians who move from area to area looking for work are just as likely to end up in one of the country's overcrowded detention centres as they are to find jobs. We discuss its ancient Christian roots. Unfortunately, the situation in Libya remains the same this year as it has for many years, due in large part to the lack of a central governing authority to break the cycle of armed conflicts in the country. Christians in Libya, a country mired in civil war for 9 years, are under extreme pressure. Give to VOMs Global Ministry, 1815 SE Bison Rd., Bartlesville, OK 74006. Registered Charity in England and Wales No. Lift up local Open Doors partners as they carefully seek out believers in a society where the wrong question to the wrong person can bring calamity. According to Open Doors USA, these include Anglicans, Greek and Russian Orthodox, and nondenominational Christians. Protect our brothers and sisters, draw them close to You, and encourage and strengthen their hearts.
According to an Amnesty International report, armed men entered a detention center in Qasr bin Ghashir on April 23, where they ordered a group of Christian migrant detainees to halt an Easter service and began firing when the detainees refused, injuring at least 12. Help local partners to identify and interact effectively and safely with believers who need help. Migrant workers from other countries are allowed churches, but churches for Libyans are forbidden. Your prayers make an enormous difference to those following Jesus no matter the cost. Youre offline. The Arab Organization for Human Rights Libya (AOHRL) continued to report a restrictive social environment for religious freedom throughout the country. Pray for wisdom, grace and protection for them as they aid believers there. Access to Bibles is severely restricted; they are brought into the country with extreme difficulty and risk. World Watch List Rank:4. 2000 - 2022 Open Doors USA, All Rights Reserved. There is no law providing for individuals right to choose or change their religion or to study, discuss, or promulgate their religious beliefs. Please put Your hand over them and cover them with Your protection. Sharia courts govern family matters for Muslims, including inheritance, divorce, and the right to own property. Pray for believers who must keep their faith in Jesus secret or face possible arrest and even slavery.
Christian communities continued to exist in Tripoli, where Catholic, Anglican, and Protestant churches operated for foreigners.
The 2011 Constitutional Declaration functions as the interim constitution and states that Islam is the state religion and sharia the principal source of legislation.
Encourage a persecuted believer by writing them a note of encouragement. On October 16, unknown individuals abducted a 70-year-old woman from her home in Benghazi after she was accused of practicing witchcraft, according to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, Ghassan Salame. The header photo shows the ruins of an ancient Christian church in Libya.
Thank You for their inspiring example. People across the Middle East and North Africa are flocking to Christianity from Islam. According to media reports, early in the year a number of critically ill migrants held at a Zintan detention camp were transferred to a camp in Gharyan near heavy fighting after the Zintan facilitys authorities complained they could not manage the volume of corpses of deceased Christian detainees. The embassy used its social media platforms to amplify the Secretary of States Ramadan message calling for inclusion of and respect for religious minority communities. When a person in Libya leaves Islam to follow Christ, they face immense pressure from their families to renounce their faith. Many members of the Amazigh ethnic minority are Ibadi Muslims.
Extremist groups have established checkpoints and control specific areas of the country.
When a person in Libya leaves Islam to follow Christ, they face immense pressure from their families to renounce their faith. If discovered, they can face house arrest, sexual assault, forced marriage and even so-called honour-killing. According to media reports, the LNA continued to appoint imams with Salafist beliefs in areas under its control throughout the eastern part of the country. The country has no central government, so laws are not enforced uniformly, leaving Christians in danger of overt and public persecution. The government has been unable to stop violent extremist groups, like those affiliated with IS, taking control of strategic areas.
If a Libyan man becomes a Christian, consequences can include job loss, physical and mental abuse, and even excommunication from the family.
1125684, Scotland SC043710 and Republic of Ireland 20140984. could provide emergency food, medicine and shelter for a month to a family of Christian refugees fleeing extreme persecution, Give a Gift: support Christians who face extreme persecution for their faith, Sign up for emails: get the latest updates and prayer requests from the persecuted church, Pray with us: find out how you can stand with persecuted Christians in prayer. But the church was raided by police. Help local partners to identify and interact effectively and safely with believers who need help. Direct support of persecuted believers through job assistance and provision for practical needs is also key.
: 34,600 (0.5% of the population) Most sub-Saharan African and Filipino migrants are Catholic, and the Catholic diocese of Tripoli estimates its followers include 5,000 sub-Saharan and 1,500 Filipino individuals. Targeted kidnappings and executions are always a possibility for believers. Bring about a change in the status quo in Libya with strong and fair government and protection for people of all faiths. The fatwas did not have legal weight but conveyed considerable social pressure, according to Libyan tribal and religious leaders. Multiple sources stated Islamic militant groups and organized crime groups targeted religious minorities, including Christian migrants, converts to Christianity, and foreign residents for physical attacks, sexual assaults, detentions, kidnappings, and killings. According to ICG, Madkhali elements affiliated with the LNA continued to act as self-appointed morality police, cracking down on activities not sanctioned by their strict interpretation of Islam, including the sale of books deemed un-Islamic and events where men and women mix. Open Doors works with local partners in North Africa to provide leadership training, discipleship, livelihood support, pastoral care and prayer support. In some cases, Christians who are apprehended are delivered, instead, to criminal officials
Religious minorities said converts to other religions, as well as atheists, agnostics, and other nonreligious persons, faced threats of violence or dismissal from employment and from their communities because of their beliefs or lack of belief. Those who leave Islam to follow Jesus face immense pressure from family to renounce their Christian beliefs. Open Doors works with local partners and churches in North Africa to raise prayer support, training and literature, and advocate for justice for believers.
Christian shares his or her faith with someone else, they will likely be reported, arrested and perhaps face violent punishment. Academic studies and media describe the Madkhali movement as a form of very strict Salafism. The Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs (MEIA) administers mosques, supervises clerics, and has primary responsibility for ensuring all religious practices conform to state-approved Islamic norms.
He says these believers need support because the persecution is fierce.
According to Christian groups in Tripoli, most of the Egyptian Christians are Copts. Pray for peace and stability in the country. Their community excludes them, and they can be left homeless, jobless and alone.
Telling others about Jesus can lead to arrest and even violent punishment. The country is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. During the year, nonstate actors and militias continued to operate and control territory throughout the country, including Benghazi and parts of Tripoli. Draw them close to You and lift their hearts.
is also key. Since religion, politics, and security are often closely linked in the country, it was difficult to categorize many incidents as being solely based on religious identity. According to international media, former Muslims faced intense social and economic pressure to renounce their faith to return to Islam.
Amen. Pray that many will be reached by Christian satellite TV programs and internet evangelism.
03 / Select Countries You can add more than one country or area. They then tried to force her to marry a Muslim cleric. Libyan converts may be beaten by family members, whereas Christian migrant workers can face threats and severe violence. There are approximately 34,600 Christians in Libya 0.5 per cent of a population of 6.7 million. It includes prohibitions against instigating division and insulting Islam or the Prophet Muhammad, charges that carry a maximum sentence of death. Islamic law (sharia), however, applies in any case in which a Muslim is involved.
Status of Government Respect for Religious Freedom, Abuses by Foreign Forces and Nonstate Actors, Section III. In Tripoli, according to civil society sources, womens rights activists, and human rights NGO officials, some militias and armed groups, such as the SDF, imposed restrictions on womens dress and movement and punished men for behavior they deemed un-Islamic. There continued to be no laws, however, imposing restrictions on dress. Pray for new churches that are being established. Parameter name: key. Direct support of persecuted believers through job assistance and provision for practical needs is also key.
The 2011 Constitutional Declaration functions as the interim constitution. Ask God to bring stability to Libya through a government that strives to enforce laws and make the nation a better place.
Multiple authorities and armed groups vied for influence, with little effective exercise of government authority in practice, according to international observers. The Rada Special Deterrence Forces (SDF), a nominally GNA-aligned militia in Tripoli, engaged in Islamic religious policing in the capital.
Lift up local Open Doors partners as they carefully seek out believers in a society where the wrong question to the wrong person can bring calamity. Libya (MNN) Libyan authorities have arrested several young men this year as they exercised their free expression. God holds the hearts of kings in His hand. But the number of Libyan Christians (rather than migrant workers from other countries) is very small only about 150 believers.
We support people who are beaten, tortured, imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus. According to the Christian rights advocacy group Middle East Concern (MEC), Islamic militant groups and organized crime groups targeted religious minorities, including Christian migrants, converts to Christianity, and foreign residents for physical attacks, sexual assaults, detentions, kidnappings, and killings. Islem (name changed) lives in a country in North Africa similar to Libya. While she cannot reveal her faith even to her family members (they would not accept her), she still says, Jesus is like oxygen, because without oxygen you cannot breathe No matter what happens in my life, I cant leave Jesus.. The curricula aimed to replace previous material containing discriminatory language directed at non-Muslims. Christians are rejected by their Muslim families and friends. The ministry operates out of Europe but involves Libyans reaching Libyans.
Leader: Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh Download country dossier with in-depth research. persecution.
Christian groups operating in the country identified the SDF as among the Islamic militant groups involved in the harassment of Christians. Father, even with the threat of imminent danger, people are bravely seeking You.
Open Doors works with local partners in North Africa to provide leadership training, discipleship, livelihood support, pastoral care and prayer support. Father, even with the threat of imminent danger, people are bravely seeking You.
Pray for those who, for security reasons, must fellowship in online churches. Foreign Christian communities consist almost exclusively of sub-Saharan African migrants and Filipino foreign workers, with smaller numbers of Egyptian migrants and a small number of other foreign residents of European nationalities. Start a journey of brave faith with your persecuted Christian family. According to Human Rights Watch, a 2017 religious edict by the eastern interim government remained in effect against Ibadi Muslims; it accused the group of deviance and of following an infidel doctrine. According to human rights activists, the SDF continued to be involved in a number of arrests and detentions of individuals whom it accused of violating Islamic law. There are few believers in Libya, and it is extremely difficult for them to practice their faith openly. Liquid error: Value cannot be null. U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations, including AQIM and ISIS, continued to operate within the country, although there were no reports during the year of explicitly religiously motivated attacks. Sammy says, We know a few Christians that actually meet together. It states Islam is the state religion and sharia is the principal source of legislation, but it accords Christians and Jews the freedom to practice their religions and guarantees state respect for their personal status laws. Please keep praying for your brothers and sisters in Libya. Christians are vulnerable throughout Libya, whether they live in the country, are passing through for migrant work, or are trying to reach Europe to start a new life. Nonstate actors and militias continued to operate and control territory throughout the country, including in Benghazi and parts of Tripoli, where there were numerous reports of armed groups restricting religious practices, enforcing compliance with sharia according to their interpretation, and targeting those viewed as violating their standards. Amen. Christians are vulnerable throughout Libya, whether they live in the country, are passing through for migrant work or are trying to reach Europe to start a new life.
Human rights activists said freedom of conscience for converts to Christianity, atheists, and Sunni Muslims who deviated from Salafist interpretations of Islam was not respected. Estimates of the number of Christians in the country vary. Targeted kidnappings and executions are always a possibility for believers. There is no civil law explicitly prohibiting conversion from Islam to another religion or prohibiting proselytization; however, the criminal code effectively prohibits missionary activities or conversion.