Libya (MNN) — All across the Middle East and North Africa, people are turning away from Islam and following the risen Jesus.
But in Libya, new believers often face hostility both from authorities and from their families. Why would they risk persecution to follow Jesus?
Sammy works with a ministry that operates out of Europe but involves Libyans reaching other Libyans. He says the whole perception of Islam is in flux, especially among young people.
He gives two major reasons. “The first involves the extreme Islamic movements, like ISIS or al-Qaeda. Most Muslims really dislike those movements, and they see it as a corruption of Islam.”
“Secondly, the elder generation is telling stories about women, about family, about how to live, that are completely disconnected with the modern reality that young people grow up in.”
In fact, many Libyans now identify as non-believers. Sammy says that’s the first step for some people. They know they are not Muslims, but they still want to learn about who God is. “We often spend three to five years interacting, talking and sharing, and listening to the same individual before they reach a stage of understanding that Christ actually died for them.”
How to pray
Ask Go to strengthen and grow the Libyan Church. Pray also that Libyan Christians would encourage each other as they face these many challenges.
Libya once served as a hub for ancient Christianity. Since the Muslim conquest, believers have been few and scattered. Sammy says, “Think of the joy of working in Libya at this point in time. For the first time in 1,200 years, there are the small beginnings of a new Libyan church. That is so exciting.”
The header photo shows cars parked in front of a mosque in Tripoli, Libya. (Photo courtesy of Hakeem.gadi, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)