Libya Facts

Score: 86 / 100
Region: Africa
Persecution Type: Islamic Oppression
Persecution Level: Extreme
Population: 6,409,000
Christians: 41,000
Main Religion: Islam
Government: Transitional
Leader: Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj

Profile of Persecution Methodology

Violence 62%
Church Life 92%
National Life 94%
Community Life 85%
Family Life 91%
Private Life 91%

Where Persecution Comes From

For Christians in Libya, the two main causes of Christian persecution are Islamic militant groups and organized crime. Christians in this country are a very small minority, and most are foreigners in search of work or a means of reaching Europe by crossing the Mediterranean. These Christian migrants (most come from sub-Saharan African countries) face substantial religious intolerance and racial prejudice. A state of anarchy and civil war in the country results in impunity for Islamic militants and organized criminal groups engaged in the persecution of Christian believers. The country also exerts a great deal of societal pressure, calling for family members to persecute converts from Muslim backgrounds.

How Christians are Suffering

Libyan Christians from Muslim backgrounds face extremely violent and intense persecution, constantly pressured by their families and the wider community to renounce their faith. Christian migrants from other parts of the continent are also targets of Islamic militant groups and organized criminal groups that kidnap and sometimes kill with shocking brutality. Believers who avoid violent persecution are still harassed and subjected to threats from radical Islamists. Christ-followers who publically express their faith or try to share the gospel face the risk of arrest and violence as well. Because no single central government exists to impose law and order in the country, most crimes against Christians go unpunished.


In June 2016, a Christian convert who had fled the country was lured back by her siblings, who told her that her mother was seriously ill. When she returned, they beat her and tried to force her to marry a Muslim religious leader, pressuring her to renounce Christianity. She barely managed to escape.

In November 2016, a Christian Libyan who shared his faith on social media was arrested in the city of Benghazi on charges of “proselytizing on social media and denigrating Islam.”

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Pray for Libya

  • Pray that God would disrupt the plans of the Islamic State in Libya to show them His mercy, grace and sovereignty over all.
  • Pray for the growing number of Christians from Muslim backgrounds in Libya, especially those isolated from other believers. Pray for Libyan believers scattered throughout Europe. Some still face persecution from their families back home.
  • Pray that many would hear the gospel through Arabic satellite and web broadcasts. Pray for new believers, for their protection, and for opportunities to cultivate and grow in their faith.


Stories from Libya

April 4, 2017

Pray for Pastors in Libya

Sometimes prayer comes just at the right moment. A few days ago, we informed a pastor in Libya about the…


March 18, 2016

Alarming growth of violence and targeting of Christians in Libya

With 8 Christians killed in one week and one murder attempt on another Egyptian Christian, the violence against Christians is…


February 27, 2016


At number 10 on the 2016 World Watch List, Libya finds itself among the top 10 worst countries for Christians…