Over the last four weeks, fighting in Libya has intensified, as Libya Dawn, a coalition of Islamists and fighters from Misrata, attacked the biggest oil exporting terminal in Libya, setting at least five oil tanks ablaze. This led to retaliatory air strikes by the Libyan army against Libya Dawn
Since July 2014, hundreds of civilians have been killed and thousands more displaced. A UN report released in Deember 2014 states that at least 450 civilians have been killed in Benghazi alone, while highlighting the broader destruction across the country by the warring groups.
The fighting in Libya is increasingly becoming a proxy war between regional players vying for influence in this oil-rich country, which has been in turmoil since 2011.
In addition to the fighting over oil control, there is also an increased harassment of Christians in Libya. Recently at least 13 Egyptian Christians were abducted at gun point from a housing complex in Libya, with militants checking ID cards so that they only took Christians and not Muslims.
These kidnappings come just a week after 7 Coptic Christians were abducted from a bus whilst trying to leave Libya and return to Egypt. The Egyptian Christians living in Libya have no safe way to leave the country and many are too frightened to even leave their houses, through fear of being kidnapped or executed.
- Pray for Libya. For peace and for a desire amongst the warring factions to come together to seek a peaceful resolution to the current political situation.
- Pray for Christians in Libya, for courage, faith and for protection from militant factions who are targeting them.
- Pray that the Libyan government, along with the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, will step in to help the Egyptian Christians to have safe passage back to Egypt,and also to specifically take steps to protect those Christians living in Libya.
- Pray for those who have been abducted that they will be released and returned safely to their families.
Source: Almonitor.com and www.persecution.org