Libya (MNN) — Christians in Libya, Egypt, and Turkey are caught in the middle of a broiling conflict.
Hostilities between Egypt and Turkey over oil-rich territory in Libya have ramped up in recent weeks. Many fear the standoff could break out into a full-blown war.
War rarely sees true winners, and a potential conflict between these two similarly-sized militaries would likely end poorly for both sides. The biggest loser, of course, would be Libya.
Greg Musselman of Voice of the Martyrs Canada explains the situation for Christians. “What’s happening is you’ve got the Christians in Libya, who have no religious freedom. They’re always in danger and underground. You have the Turkish Christians and the Egyptian Christians in those countries. So both Islamic countries, Turkey and Egypt, they’re coming at each other in Libya and fighting for control of that area, which of course is very strategic. The Christians are getting caught in the middle of all this.”
The Libyan church stays mostly underground, Musselman says. “It’s a small Christian community. And yet, of course, it is rooted in history in North Africa, [back] to the beginning of the Church. It looks as if the church has been decimated, but we can tell you that there is a growing church in Libya. People are coming to know the Lord.”
Allegiance to Christ
It’s disheartening for Christians living in these countries to see their governments leading them into war. In many cases though, not supporting what the government is doing can put Christians in even more danger.
“Christians are often seen,” Musselman says, “as security risks in all three of those countries.” These governments want full allegiance from Christians, but they will only give that to Jesus Christ.
Pray that God will protect the Christians in these three countries and that he will give them wisdom concerning how to relate to their governments.
Pray especially for Christians in Turkey, a country that systematically slaughtered millions of Armenians over 100 years ago and still has not taken responsibility or faced any justice.
And pray that war will not break out in Libya and that Egypt and Turkey can come to peaceful agreements.
The header image shows a church in Egypt. (Photo courtesy of Voice of the Martyrs Canada on Facebook)