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A Libyan appeals court has sentenced a young man to death for converting to Christianity, despite there being no official apostasy laws in the country. The name of the Christian convert, who came to faith in Jesus four years ago, has been withheld for his protection. Though the young believer has faced pressure to recant his belief in Jesus, he refuses to forsake his Christian faith.

In 2011, Libya was caught up in a civil war as part of a movement popularly known as the "Arab Spring." After the country's dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, was assassinated, an elected body referenced as the General National Congress (GNC) governed the country from 2012 to 2014. Predominantly controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood, the GNC instituted a law against apostasy that mandated the death penalty.

During 2014, political power struggles ensued within the country, resulting in a split between a new assembly based in Tripoli, which has the support of the country's Supreme Court; and the House of Representatives based in Tobruk. However, with no unified government in existence today, much of the current rule of law is being controlled by militia groups.

In the case of this persecuted young man, the Libyan court reverted to the old apostasy law, which was in place during the time of the GNC, despite the legislation having been abolished years ago. At present, it is unknown when court officials will take further action. In the interim, the accused Christian man has been ordered to publish the verdict in the local news press and display a notice outside his residence – actions that would subject him to further threat of danger. Compounding this believer's perilous situation is the fact that he has had no legal representation throughout the court proceedings.

Despite the ongoing opposition against the country's Christians, and the daily dangers they encounter – including the risk of death – there have been reports of more people coming to faith in Christ. To receive further information on the challenges of Christians in this North African nation, go to our country report.

Remember this Christian young man in your prayers as he now faces the court's decision. Pray that God will swiftly intervene in powerful ways on this condemned believer's behalf, resulting in a miraculous reversal of the initial verdict and the provision of true justice in his case. Also ask the Lord to mightily work in the lives of those responsible for the governance of this divided nation, so that its leaders will come to a resolution that upholds the proper rule of law. Ultimately, may He honour the courageous witness that's being demonstrated through the uncompromising conviction of individuals like this young Christian convert – those who are willing to risk it all for the sake of Christ – by using their testimonies to lead others to eternal salvation.

Country Information

Population
7,017,224 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Berber and Arab (97), other (3)

Religion (%)
Muslim (96.6), Christian (2.7), Buddhist (0.3), Other (0.2) unafilliated (0.2)

Leader
Chairman, Presidential Council, Mohammed Al Menfi (2021)

Government type
In transition

Legal system
Libya's post-revolution legal system is in flux and driven by state and non-state entities

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Libya

Pray that converts to Christianity will stand firm, despite the threats of suffering and death.

Pray that strong and effective Christian resources, including Bibles and other literature, will be available in Libya.

Pray that Libyan Christians will have a strong desire to lead others to faith in the Lord.

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