LIBYA: Young Christian Convert Sentenced to Death

Sep 28, 2022 | VoM

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 called 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 his sentence in the local news and display a notice outside his home – 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 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.

Sources: VOM, International Christian Concern, Middle East Concern

Please Pray

Pray for peace and safety over this young Christian man as he faces the outcome of the court’s decision.

Pray that God will intervene on this condemned believer’s behalf, resulting in a miraculous reversal of the initial verdict and the provision of true justice in his case.

Pray that the Lord would work powerfully in the lives of those responsible for the governance of Libya, so that its leaders will come to a resolution that upholds the proper rule of law.