How many Christians are there in Libya?
There are believed to be just under 35,000 Christians in Libya – just 0.5% of the country’s 6.7 million population. Libya is predominantly Muslim.
How are Christians persecuted in Libya?
Libya is effectively a lawless land where to be a Christian is to live a secret life of faith.
Those who leave Islam to follow Jesus face immense pressure from family to renounce their faith. Their community ostracises them, and they can be left homeless, jobless and alone. Telling others about Jesus can lead to arrest and even violent punishment.
Believers are further exposed to danger since Libya has no central government, so laws are not enforced uniformly. Targeted kidnappings and executions are always a possibility for believers.
What’s life like for Christians in Libya?
In Libya, women generally live secluded lives under strict family control, making it extremely difficult for women who convert from Islam to Christianity. If discovered, they can face house arrest, sexual assault, forced marriage and even so-called ‘honour-killing’.
If a Libyan man becomes a Christian, consequences can include job loss, physical and mental abuse, and even excommunication from the family. Because men are the family providers, the stress of being unable to fulfil that role due to persecution can cause psychological distress.
How can I help Christians in North Africa?
Please keep praying for your brothers and sisters in Libya. Your prayers make an enormous difference to those following Jesus no matter the cost.
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. Thank You for their inspiring example. Protect our brothers and sisters, draw them close to You, and encourage and strengthen their hearts. Help local partners to identify and interact effectively and safely with believers who need help. Bring about a change in the status quo in Libya with strong and fair government and protection for people of all faiths. Amen.