Libya - Photo: Unsplash / M. Sadiq


In 1969, Muammar al-Qadhafi seized power in an atmosphere of animosity toward Western control of the oil industry and single-handedly ruled the country, surrounded by a cult of personality.

Qadhafi was best known around the world for his open hostility toward the West and his sponsorship of terrorist groups. However, because of a failing economy, he has begun to open up to the West, including accepting responsibility for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Because of this and other actions, the U.N. lifted sanctions against Libya in September 2003. In December 2003, he agreed to reveal and end Libya’s programs to develop weapons of mass destruction and to renounce terrorism.

In late 2010 and early 2011, unrest in several countries in the region led to pro-democracy campaigns that ousted Tunisia and Egypt’s leaders. The campaigns took place in in Libya as well. Hundreds of civilians died in the crossfire of ongoing battles between Qadhafi-controlled forces in the west and rebel forces in the east, leading to intervention by the international community. The Qadhafi government was toppled in mid-2011 and replaced by a transitional government. Elections were held in 2012 and 2014 but remnants of the former legislature refused to leave office and created a rival government.

A major challenge for Libya has been migrants passing through Libya from sub-Saharan Africa, most heading for Europe. The Christian community is small but growing, though the majority are foreign workers. There are, at present, no laws officially restricting religious freedom, but Islamic law continues to dominate. The presence of ISIS militants is a significant concern. In April 2015, a video was released of Christian migrant workers being beheaded and shot by militants.

Country Information

7,017,224 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Berber and Arab (97), other (3)

Religion (%)
Muslim (96.6), Christian (2.7), Buddhist (0.3), Other (0.2) unafilliated (0.2)

Chairman, Presidential Council, Mohammed Al Menfi (2021)

Government type
In transition

Legal system
Libya's post-revolution legal system is in flux and driven by state and non-state entities

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Libya

Pray that converts to Christianity will stand firm, despite the threats of suffering and death.

Pray that strong and effective Christian resources, including Bibles and other literature, will be available in Libya.

Pray that Libyan Christians will have a strong desire to lead others to faith in the Lord.


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Libya News

  • Christian Convert Sentenced to Death for Apostasy
    Sillhouette of a man looking through a window at a city

    A Libyan appeals court has sentenced a young man to death for converting to Christianity, despite there being no official apostasy laws in the country. The name of the Christian convert, who came to faith in Jesus four years ago, has been withheld for his protection. Though the young believer has fa

  • Threats in the Midst of Renewed Church Growth
    Ruins of Basilica of Justinian
    Christianity was once a predominant influence in Libya, as seen in the Basilica of Justinian.
    Photo: Wikipedia / Hakeem.gadi

    Once an active centre of Christianity during the days of the early church, Libya is now known as an epicentre of persecution that's so extreme, there are few believers today re

  • Warnings Against Christmas Celebrations
    Mosque in Ghadames - Photo: Wikipedia / Franzfoto
    Islam is the official religion of Libya.
    Photo: Wikipedia / Franzfoto (cc)

    A recent government campaign against the celebration of Christmas is yet another demonstration of anti-Christian activity orchestrated by the authorities in the North African nation of Libya. A movement to confiscate Christ

  • Ethiopian Christians Tragically Murdered by Militants

    A group of Christian men, believed to be Ethiopian, were brutally killed recently by members of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Libya. The militant group published a video on April 19th that showed one group of men being beheaded on a beach and another group in a desert area being shot in the head. The