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Religious Freedom Internationally
 
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Libya

Libya is situated in Northern Africa by the Mediterranean Sea, and neighbours Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan, Chad, Niger and Algeria. The majority of the population is Berber and Arab, and 97% of Libyans are Sunni Muslims. The main languages in Libya are Arabic, Italian and English.

Libya’s relationship with the west has significantly improved since the government ended the development of weapons of mass destruction in 2003. In 2004, the current head of government, Qadhafi, acknowledged several cases against his government related to terrorist activities, by monetarily compensating the families of victims of the UTA and La Belle disco bombings.

Religious Freedom

The state religion in Libya is Islam, and the activities of minority religions are restricted. The number of places of worship for all denominations in each region of the country is regulated by the government. Mosques are obliged to accept the state’s understanding of Islam, and make the appropriate adjustments in their own interpretation and teaching. Minority religions are permitted to hold services in Libya, and missionaries are able to easily enter and set up residence in the country. However, services are regularly monitored and it is difficult to import or produce copies of the Bible.

In response to internal pressure, the government has broadened the use of Islamic law among Muslims, and conversion from Islam is illegal. The consequences of apostasy are severe and have resulted in death.

Islamic studies are compulsory in public schools and education about other faith groups is not offered.

International Treaties Signed by Libya

The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
The Convention on the Rights of the Child

Canada-Libya Diplomatic Relations

Information about Canada’s relationship with Libya
Canadian Embassy in Libya
Canadian representatives in Libya
Libya’s representatives in Canada

Prayer

For prayer requests, see the alerts, or the general page of prayer for the Persecuted Church.

Related Links

General information about Libya
Information about human rights in Libya
Information about the persecuted Church in Libya  (from the Voice of the Martyrs Canada)

Related EFC Religious Liberty Commission Alerts

Note: Alerts are in reverse chronological order, beginning with the most recent.

Libya: Students on Trial for Converting to Christianity

::8/16/02
(Source: EFC Religious Liberty Commission)

An urgent report just received by the RLC indicates that twelve female and two male students from Nasser University in Tripoli are currently on trial for converting to Christianity. Their names, and how they became Christians in this very closed Muslim country, are not known. A Libyan national who saw the students being transferred from one prison to another reported that they were blindfolded and bound to one another. Other students arrested for converting to Christianity at the same time gained their freedom by reciting the Muslim creed (indicating conversion back to Islam). A Christian worker familiar with the area commented, "The students are presumably in this for the long haul…. If the students were released from prison, presumably they would be killed by their families for disgracing the family."

Pray:
• Pray for the 14 students. Pray that the Lord would be very real to them during their imprisonment. Pray that he would protect them in every circumstance.
• Pray for the Libyan lawyer who is representing them. Pray that he would be courageous and that he would have wisdom in how to proceed.
• Pray for other secret believers in Libya. Pray for their protection. Pray also that the Lord would strengthen and encourage them.
• Praise God that he is re-building his kingdom in Libya. Libyans were in the crowd when the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost and Simon of Cyrene was a Libyan.

Countries

Afghanistan
Bangladesh
Belarus
Bhutan
Burma / Myanmar
China
Egypt
Eritrea
Georgia
Greece
India
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Kyrgyzstan
Laos
Lebanon
Libya
Malaysia
Nigeria
North Korea
Pakistan
Philippines
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Syria
Tajikistan
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan
Vietnam
Yemen

   
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