Coptic Church calls upon Copts in Libya to return home

24-03-2015 08:55 PM

Mariam Rifaat


The Coptic Orthodox Holy Synod’s crisis committee issued a statement calling on the Copts who work in Libya to return home to Egypt. The statement stressed that the Copts who remain in Libya do so at risk of their lives, and that Egypt is “capable of taking care of her children, protecting them and providing them with a decent life”.

The call comes in the wake of a wave of killing of Copts in Libya at the hands of Islamists. Among the most notorious of these incidents has been the beheading of 20 Copts and an African unknown man who had been abducted by IS in Libya where they were working. The 20 Copts were abducted in Libya on two separate occasions, only one week apart. Thirteen of the hostages were kidnapped in Tripoli in early January when masked Islamists broke into the housing unit where they boarded, asked about the Christians living there, and seized them. The other seven were kidnapped a week earlier in Sirte while on a bus heading home to Egypt. They were singled out from among the other bus passengers; the Muslims were allowed to go on with their trip whereas the Copts were taken captive.

Scores of other Copts who had resided in Libya and worked there were killed by Islamist militias.  Perhaps searching will help. buy essays online In a crime that raised public agony and outrage, a Coptic doctor and his wife were killed and their teenage daughter kidnapped when masked men broke into their home in Sirte last December. The body of the daughter was later found with two bullets in her chest and one in the head.

Last year, the bodies of seven Copts were found near the city of Benghazi.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry has constantly reiterated warning to all Egyptians residing in Libya, calling on them to avoid conflict areas. It also kept renewing its travel alert to the neighbouring country, urging those travelling to Libya to secure a visa from the Libyan embassy prior to their travel. Egypt renewed its warning against travel to Libya in December.

Thousands of Egyptians work in Libya, primarily in the construction industry.  A full half of them are Copts and these are in real peril since they are targeted by Islamists on their religious identity.


Watani International

24 March 2015
















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