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17738Russian Orthodox Church alarmed by persecution of Christians in Lebanon

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    Apr 8, 2013

      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
      Church says.

      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.