Persecution Update April 2013: Libya

The Arab Spring began in 2011 in Libya, where the official religion is Islam and any type of proselytizing or distribution of Christian literature is illegal. Simon of Cyrene was from Libya, but the small minority of Christians today numbers only about 200,000 people. Ezzat Hakin Atallah, a native Egyptian, had lived in Libya for ten years and was the owner of a cell phone repair shop. He was known as a Christian, but that had not caused any previous problems. However, on February 17, 2013, Atallah and three other believers were rounded up and imprisoned in Benghazi on charges of spreading Christianity. On March 10, Atallah died in prison. Repeated electrical shock torture likely exacerbated his heart ailment, leading to his death. Atallah left behind a wife, Ragaa Abdallah, and two children. Please pray for God’s comfort for this family and also for the minority Christian community in Libya who are suffering attacks, arson, and detentions for the cause of Christ.