08 April 2013, 14:31
Russian Orthodox Church alarmed by persecution of Christians in Lebanon
Moscow, April 8, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate has called for
protecting the Christian population in Libya.
"Some 100,000 Christians lived in Libya before the beginning of the
civil confrontation in 2011. Now there are only several thousand of
them. The number of cases of violence against and discrimination of
Christians has sharply increased," a statement of the communication
service of the Department for External Church Relations of the Russian
The document says that the past few months have seen a big number of
attacks, arrests and even torture of Libyan Christians. In
February-March, there were attacks on churches and clergymen, scores of
Copts were arrested and tortured on charters of proselytism. Catholic
charitable monastic orders were forced to leave the country due to threats.
The 48 Copts detained in Benghazi at the beginning of March were
tortured and humiliated; one of them died as a result. On March 13, the
EU mission in Libya urged the country's leadership to observe the rights
of convicts. There have also been other instances of discrimination and
persecution of Christians, the statement says.
"We can state with regret that the world community is paying unduly
little attention to such crying cases of discrimination of the Christian
minority in Libya," the statement says and urges the Libyan authorities
to take energetic efforts to retain Christian presence in that country.