• Pray for a unified government that will rebuild the nation with justice and peace.
• Pray for the tiny Libyan Church to be united and established despite intense persecution.
• Pray for Jesus to reveal Himself to moderate and extremist Muslims alike.
The Sahara Desert, volcanoes, oases, and nomadic peoples make Libya both stunning and intriguing. Equally breathtaking are the ancient cities along the Mediterranean coastline, home to most of Libya’s 6.5 million people. These cities showcase a diverse history marked with ancient Greek, Roman, and Ottoman influence. This water-poor but oil-rich country’s earliest inhabitants were Berber tribes, most of which have blended into the Arab majority. Today Libya is experiencing extreme turmoil that has absolutely devastated the nation.
Vast oil reserves made Libya one of Africa’s wealthiest nations, yet nearly one third of its people live in poverty. The death of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 during the Arab Spring (a series of populist uprisings in many Arab countries from 2010-2012) exacerbated a history of conflict. A pluralistic democratic state was promised, but instead the country was further divided by war. Numerous oil ports have been captured by militia, and the Islamic State found safe-haven in the midst of this massive instability. Violent attacks and suicide bombings throughout Libya have brought further death and destruction. Around half a million people have been displaced within Libya as a result of this unraveling chaos.
Today this nation is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a Christian. Ninety-seven percent of Libyans are Muslim. Although foreigners are legally permitted to worship, it is illegal for them to share the Gospel with Libyans. Missionaries are arrested, and most Christian expatriates have left. The 2015 video documenting the gruesome beheading of twenty-one believers in Libya by the Islamic State led even more Christians to flee. Now, there are no more than an estimated twenty believers left in the whole country. Yet, there are Libyans who left during Gaddafi's reign who long to return and share the Gospel. Radio, satellite television, and the internet offer effective ways to evangelize and disciple Libyans. But Bibles and other Christian materials are still greatly needed.
Capital City: Tripoli
Government: In transition
Major People Groups: 38% Tripolitanian Arab; 26% Cyrenaican Arab; 9% Sanusi Bedouin; 4% Arabized Berber; 4% Sudanese Arab
Religion: Muslim 99%, Christian 1%
Language: Arabic, Nafusi, Eastern Punjabi, Domari, Tedaga
GDP Per Capita: $10,300
Literacy Rate: 91%
POPULATION IN UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS: 88.2%
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