Things are precarious in Libya politically and socially. Tense is an understatement to describe the atmosphere. Ironically, like a pregnant woman beginning to feel the labor pangs there is great expectancy in the air. Open doors USA reports:
While a defiant Moammar Gadhafi assured “martyrdom or victory” today [24 Aug 2011] in the battle against the “aggressors” in Libya, Christians in Tripoli met in prayer for the country and the future of Christians throughout the northern African nation.
The Open Doors country coordinator for Libya, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “Every day around noon, a part of the small Christian community gathers to encourage each other.”
Open Doors estimates the number of indigenous Libyan Christians is around 150. However, prior to the start of the revolution, the expatriate Christian community was believed to be approximately 180,000. Large numbers of migrant workers left Libya after the revolt that started Feb. 15, but a small number of foreign Christians remain in Libya.
“Today a group of Christians from Tripoli shared with me that they are doing well and said the atmosphere is okay,” the Open Doors worker said. “Also, the church is still in good condition and undamaged despite fighting in the capital.”
About the personal safety of the Christians, the coordinator said: “Believers from African origin are not going outside the city for their own safety, but otherwise everyone is safe.”
The country coordinator added: “Getting in touch with Christians in Tripoli is not easy. Phone service is off and on or not answered, but I understand that the Internet is up in Tripoli again, so I expect communication opportunities will improve in the next few days.”
Concerning the future of the church, the Open Doors worker noted: “The situation will change, that is for sure, but will Christians gain from the change? Will there be more religious freedom under a new administration? No one knows. The government will be Islamic, but the question remains how strict it will be and how strong fundamentalist influences will be shaping the new Libya.
Pray for the Christians in Libya. Pray that there will be a measure of religious freedom under any new administration. Things are changing but continue to remember Libya in your prayers.