Seven Egyptian Christians Reportedly Killed in Libya
SANTA ANA, Calif. (Feb. 25, 2014) – Seven Egyptian Christians were killed on Monday near the Libyan city of Benghazi. Libyan authorities found their bodies Monday afternoon on a beach in the Jarhoutha suburb of Benghazi.
The seven were killed by gunshots in what is believed an execution of the Coptic Christians. The ages of the dead range from 17 to 25.
Sources inside the country say that the seven were forced to leave the apartment building they were living in by a group looking for Christians. Some reportedly escaped. The seven were taken to the beach and executed there.
According to the Libya Herald, several of the men had their hands bound and all were killed by single shots to the head. A security spokesman said to that newspaper that the names of some of the men found indicated that they were Coptic Christians. An Egyptian passport was found on the body of one of them.
Connor, an Open Doors’ spokesman, says he is shocked by the news. “We see since the end of the regime of dictator Gaddafi of Libya that the government doesn’t really control the nation. There is a tendency that Christians, both Libyans and non-Libyans, suffer persecution from radical Islamists.”
The spokesman for Open Doors says that there is growing fear among the Christian community in eastern Libya. There have been a number of attacks on the Egyptian Coptic community. In December 2012, an explosion near the Coptic Orthodox Church in Misrata killed two and left another three injured. Benghazi’s main Coptic Church was set on fire in March 2013 following an assault on the church’s priest and his assistant two weeks earlier. It is now closed.
The killings on Monday could trigger anti-Libyan protests in Egypt. In March 2013, the Libyan embassy in Cairo was attacked by angry Copts following claims that an Egyptian Christian had been tortured and killed in a Libyan prison.
Libya is ranked No. 13 on the Open Doors’ 2014 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians.
Please pray for:
� The relatives and friends of the Christians killed
� The Christian community in Libya; that they might find their strength and refuge in the Lord
� Leadership of the expat-churches in Libya; that they will be sensitive to the guidance of the Lord and lead their congregations with wisdom.
For almost 60 years Open Doors has worked in the world’s most oppressive and restrictive countries, strengthening Christians to stand strong in the face of persecution and equipping them to shine Christ’s light in these places. Open Doors empowers persecuted Christians in the areas of Bible and gospel development, women and children’s advancement and Christian community restoration. Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world and are oppressed in at least 60 countries. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.
(To set up an interview or for more information, contact Jerry Dykstra at 616-915-4117 or email [email protected])