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A sudden peak in arrests of Christians in Libya

Three American expat Christians have been arrested in Libya in the past three weeks. They are still in detention. The authorities then arrested seven Libyans. Most of them declared in video confessions how they converted from Islam to Christianity. Six are men, and one is a woman. Two of the three American Christians were released in the past weekend and have left the country.

All expats and Libyans were arrested by the Internal Security Agency (ISA), which is affiliated with ar-Radaa, an Islamist special operations military police unit. They are accused of apostasy and proselytising.

The ISA is usually concerned with high-profile organised crime but has also been involved in tracking political dissidents, politicians, and those involved in activities considered to be un-Islamic.

Recently, most of the arrested Libyans and the expats appeared in videos in which their faces were blurred, giving detailed statements about how they accepted Jesus and the people they met and know. These videos are published on the official web page of the ISA. The videos portray Libya as being targeted by an outside conspiracy to undermine the Islamic nature of Libyan society and the state. This has incited a hate campaign against Christians on social media.

Libya ranks #5 on our Open Doors World Watch List. The list ranks the top 50 most dangerous countries to live in as a Christian and is the product of both desk and field research. As the only document of its kind, it is independently audited by the International Institute of Religious Freedom and is the most trusted source of information concerning persecuted Christians.

Open Doors calls Christians around the world to pray on behalf of the arrested Libyans and expats. Click here for more on Libya.

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