October 15, 2013: There is a “very strong contrast” between the situation of the Church in Libya and in the region’s other nations, according to a statement from the Conference of Bishops of the Region of North Africa.
Archbishop Vincent Landel of Rabat (Morocco), president of the bishops’ conference, issued the statement following a meeting of the conference in Rome. “The lack of security that prevails in Libya has as a consequence that most religious communities that came to work in public health at the request of the Libyan authorities have been asked to leave the country,” said Archbishop Landel.
“The Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli told us, ‘I did not think Libya would one day experience such a situation and would ask us to leave … It is for me a terrible suffering. Even if I do not understand the design of God through it all, with my brothers and sisters who are still there, I try to hold onto hope.’”
Attacks on Christians in Libya have increased following NATO military action that helped lead to the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, who ruled the nation from 1969 to 2011.