|Persecution Type:||Islamic oppression|
|Leader:||Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj|
The absence of a single central government to uphold law and order contributes to the extreme levels of pressure in national and church life. Libyan Christians with a Muslim background face violent and intense pressure to renounce their faith from their family and the wider community. There is no freedom of speech, no equal treatment of Christians, no recognition of the church and no churches being built.
Christian migrant workers are allowed to meet together to worship in Libya, but they are always at risk of attack by Islamic militants, and face discrimination from Libyan society. Churches for Libyans are forbidden, and Libyan Christians must keep their faith completely secret. Christians who publicly express their faith and try to share the Christian faith with others face the risk of arrest and violence at the hands of their families, communities or violent Islamic militants.
Christians are at risk all over the country, but are especially vulnerable in areas where radical Islamic groups are present. ISIS still maintains a presence in the wider region around Sirte. Other groups, like those connected to the Islamic Dawn coalition, are in control of areas around Tripoli and some parts of Tripoli itself. In the east, radical groups are at least present in Benghazi.
Migrant Christians who have been arrested and detained while trying to reach Europe often end up in one of the overcrowded detention centers around Tripoli. Others do not even make it that far, but are directly delivered into the hands of criminal groups or human traffickers. Subsequently, they are forced into heavy labor in the agricultural sector or pushed into prostitution.
Given the security issues surrounding a Muslim’s conversion to the Christian faith, most reports about converts in Libya cannot be published.
Christian migrants held in detention centers in Libya—mostly from sub-Saharan African countries—have reportedly been raped and beaten. Although the ill-treatment and violence are not limited to Christian refugees, Christians are singled out for much worse discriminatory and violent treatment.
Slavery and human trafficking still take place despite an earlier international outcry that took place when CNN showed video evidence of a slave auction of sub-Saharan Africans in November 2017.
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In-depth research for Open Doors' 2020 World Watch List shows that at least eight Christians, largely in Sub-Saharan Africa, die at the hands of persecutors (extremists, family members and state authorities) each day. Read More