Libya (MNN) — Libyans celebrated in the streets as the death of ex-Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi was announced. Now that Gaddafi is dead, what will this mean for Christians? There are a couple of scenarios.
Medical Teams International has been working in Libya for the last couple of months. The ministry's president Bas Vanderzalm says, "There was still fighting going on–and Gaddafi had not been found and removed–that prevented the country from coming together. I'm hopeful the fighting will come to an end."
Medical Teams has been in the country attending to the victims of war in Jesus' name. Vanderzalm says
Christians need to pray for this nation regarding "the opportunities that they have to actually establish a better government there. There are going to be a lot of tribal concerns and other challenges for them." Pray also for Libya regarding "opportunities for us as Christian organizations to reach out to people of that country and care for them and show them Christ's love."
Libya ranks 25th on Open Doors' World Watch list of countries that allow persecution of Christians. Vanderzalm is optimistic: "The people of Libya are grateful for the support they have received from Christian organizations, and I think they will provide freedom for those groups. I really do hope the persecution ends and there will be more freedom and space for the church there."
Will Gaddafi's death allow Medical Teams to commit long term? "We're waiting to see where the Lord leads in this regard," Vanderzalm says. "We've been asked by the transitional government and leaders there to help with those who have lost their limbs because of the fighting. We're going to pray about that and see what God might be leading us to do. If there's a way we can care for people in the name of Christ, we're going to do that."
Many are concerned that Libya could be another Egypt. "I think there is reason to be concerned about that. There's strong tribal differences in the country. When you have one common enemy, it unites you; but when that enemy is gone, then suddenly the pressure to stay together is gone."
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