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 growing at an alarming rate. The killings cause fear amongst the Christians, especially in the eastern city Benghazi where all these shootings took place.
The body was found in Benghazi’s Jarutha district. The man that had multiple gunshot wounds has not been identified yet. A small tattooed cross on his hand indicates that he also is a Christian from Egypt.
According to Connor, a staff member of Open Doors, this is the latest in a number of attacks in the city which appear to be “deliberately targeting Egyptian Copts”. “What we hear is that the Christians were specifically targeted by these unknown perpetrators. The seven Egyptian Christians killed were taken from their apartments where the armed men searched for Christians.”
The Open Doors worker says the situation in Libya seems to deteriorate in the direction of a ‘failed state’. “The government doesn’t really control the nation. The armed groups in the country can do what they want.” As a consequence of this, kidnappings, robberies and murder are part of daily life in Libya.
“The Christians in Libya need our prayers. Pray that the Lord gives them wisdom what to do in this situation and that He comforts the relatives and friends of the Christians that were killed or wounded.”
Also recently, an Egyptian grocer, also understood to be a Coptic Christian, was left in a critical condition after being shot and a week earlier, the bodies of seven Egyptian Coptic Christians were found a beach in the Jarutha suburb of Benghazi.
According to the Libya Herald the Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdulaziz last week condemned the murders, saying they contradicted all religious creeds. He said the government was closely following the progress of investigations into the deaths and was making all possible efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.
*Representative names and photo to protect persecuted Christians