The Problem

100,000 million Christians face persecution simply for following Jesus 
The Problem

Libya

Leader: Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj
How many Christians?: 34,500 (0.5% of the population)
World Watch List Rank: 4

“‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life,’ He said to me. Then he was gone.”
Maizah, Libyan Christian

The basics

Libyan Christians have to keep their faith entirely secret, and churches for Libyans are forbidden. It’s illegal to share the gospel with Muslims, and Christians who publicly express their faith or share it with others risk being arrested or attacked by their families and communities. Without a single central government, much of Libya is effectively lawless, adding to the violent persecution and pressure felt by Christians in the country. While migrant Christians are allowed to practise their faith in Libya, many have paid the ultimate price; In 2016 79 Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees were kidnapped by IS militants and 30 of them were killed. Believers who share their faith publicly risk arrest and violence.

Main threats to Christians

  • Islamic extremism / oppression
  • Oppression from tribe/family

The facts

  • Since the revolution in 2011 the situation for Christians has got worse and worse.
  • The government says all Libyans are Sunni Muslims, though there are an estimated 36,200 Christians (the vast majority of these are migrants and not Libyan nationals).
  • It’s illegal to take Arabic Bibles into Libya or to share the gospel
  • The government has been unable to stop violent extremist groups, like those affiliated with IS, taking control of strategic areas.
  • A key leader has suggested that Christians should be thought of as a threat to national security. Police monitor Christian activity.
  • Migrant workers from other countries are allowed churches, but churches for Libyans are forbidden.
  • Libyan converts may be beaten by family members, whereas Christian migrant workers can face threats and severe violence.

Where is it?

Pray this…

Lord, we ask for Your blessing on Libya and those who follow You there. Please give strength and perseverance to those who cannot publicly praise You or have any semblance of church life. Protect them from violence and kidnapping, and change the hearts of those who persecute Christians. Amen.

Maizah’s story…

Libyan Christians from a Muslim background face violence from their families and communities unless they renounce their faith in Jesus. Maizah (not her real name) and her family fled to Egypt when civil war came to Libya, and there she met a woman who told her about Jesus. She went back to Libya but had to flee again when the Christians she was secretly meeting with were arrested. She thought her family would protect her when they tracked her down – but they beat her, and tried to force her into marriage with a Muslim man. Luckily she managed to get away to a safe house, and is now safe in another country.

How can I help Christians in Libya?

Please keep praying for your brothers and sisters in Libya. Your prayers make an enormous difference to those following Jesus no matter the cost.

In cooperation with local partners and churches, Open Doors supports the church in North Africa through training, literature distribution, socio-economic development and advocacy.

Latest news and articles on Libya…

Click the Libya tag below for a list of the latest articles and news on Libya…

We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.