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In a move strongly opposed by many nations and human rights organizations, Najat Al-Hajjaji, Libya's ambassador to the UN, was elected on January 20 to the influential position of chairman of the United Nations Human Rights Commission. The position is normally chosen without a vote, but the USA insisted on a vote because of its opposition. Of the 53 nation members of the commission, only three voted against Libya as chair: USA, Canada, and Guatemala. Several European nations were opposed, but for fear of offending the African nations who supported and nominated Libya for the position, seventeen nations abstained.

Libya has a terrible human rights record, including torturing its own citizens. They have been facing US sanctions because of involvement in terrorism such as the 1988 Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people. Libya is very closed to any religion other than Islam. In August 2002, the Persecution & Prayer Alert reported on fourteen students who had been arrested for converting to faith in Christ. At last report, they had been sentenced to death, but we have received no reports since November 20.

On hearing of the election results, Glenn Penner, Communications Director for The Voice of the Martyrs said, "I can hardly think of something more inappropriate than putting such a violator of human rights in this position. This really is a case of the fox guarding the henhouse."

Pray for Christians in Libya and for these fourteen students facing death for Christ. Pray that, in spite of this leadership choice, the UN will be effective in aiding the cause of human rights in general and specifically freedom of religion in our world.

Country Information

Population
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)

Leader
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

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    Photo: Wikipedia / Hakeem.gadi

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    Photo: Wikipedia / Franzfoto (cc)

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    Mathew (centre), touched by the immense
    faith of the Egyptian believers, acknowledged
    Christ just before his death.
    Photo: YouTube

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