Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Area: 1,775,500 sq km
The early church in Libya left a significant number of monuments across the north coast. However, the Gospel never deeply penetrated the local population, and the Church disappeared when Greek and Roman colonists fled from invading Arab army.
Much blood has been spilt in Libya’s history. Battles between the Greeks and Phoenicians, Islamic expansion in 600–1000 AD, WW II Italian occupation was brutal. Colonel Gadhafi’s rule after the 1969 Libyan revolution did not change the situation. For years, faxes, printers and the Internet were severely restricted or banned. Satellite TV was the only channel open to the outside world. In the recent decade many things have changed, making it increasingly possible for Libyans to find Christ through the media. Sunni Islam is the religion, but secularizing influences have been strong. The Gadhafi government saw radical Islamist ideology and related support coming in to the country as a threat. No form of Christian witness to Libyan citizens is allowed, and congregations of expatriates are strictly monitored. There is a state-imposed limit of one church per denomination per city.
After 40 years of isolation and a regime of extreme oppression, the people rose up. There was an intense spirit of fear over the people during these 40 years. In 2011, that fear seems to have lost some of its power! The revolutionary movements in Libya’s neighbours, Tunisia and Egypt, inspired an uprising that turned into a war with international assistance that ultimately ended with Colonel Gadhafi’s death in October 2011.
A worker writes :
“We feel it is essential to continue praying through for this nation as the war is hardly over and an ever present threat of tribal feuding looms over the future. We pray for the placement of many more workers from the west and global south. We pray that the existing prayer network will continue to mobilize many individuals, churches, and agencies to pray for the nation. We pray for righteous leadership that will assist instead of hinder the gospel. We pray for Libyan people to rise up and stand before the Lord to repent for their people. The land is so stained with blood from the past centuries and some progress has to happen in the area of repentance, forgiveness and healing. We pray for reconciliation following the recent war and for a generation to grow up that is no longer “in the dark” but enters into new thinking. We pray for an explosion of the Spirit’s power to cover the nation and lead many into the Kingdom.”
Simon of Cyrene, the man who carried the cross for Jesus, was a Libyan (Luke 23:26). What a radical display of service unto the Lord Jesus. Maybe today, another man from Libya will carry the cross in another way, in the face of great religious and physical loss to himself, to the Muslim world.
Key Scripture to Pray
Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene (Libya), went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. Acts 11:20–21
“Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, Libya.
Free yourself from the chains on your neck, oh captive daughter.” —Isaiah 52:2
“May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God.” —Psalm 20:5
A song to sing over Libya :
‘There is power in the name of Jesus, to break every chain’
Going Before the Father:
- Praise the Lord that there are intentional workers in the country in spite of the dangers and difficulties.
- The spirit of anarchy and fear seems to continue; pray for believers to be delivered from fear and give them courage to proclaim the good news.
- Libya has been one of the hardest places in the world for the Gospel to penetrate. We need to increase the amount of prayer for this land right now as it seems that doors for workers are opening wide and there are many people already now in Libya doing various projects.
- Workers are finding more believers; some have been believers for some time. Pray for the formation of indigenous fellowships and for grace on the Libyan leaders making it happen.
- Pray that the militia’s will be brought under control. The disastrous clash that left 43 dead has had some positive effect, but at great cost.
- Pray for the post-revolutionleadership and government in Libya. Pray that God would raise up men and women of integrity, wisdom and the good of the people as their priority. Ask God for righteousness, rather than more of what they used to have.
- Pray that the new leadership of Libya will desire greater openness and freedom of religion. What we have seen so far, does not look good. Egyptian workers were tortured and even killed in 2012.
- Pray that even further changes will inLibya will totally turn the nation around. This is a time of great importance for this nation and for North Africa.
- Pray that tribal wars will cease and peace and reconciliation be made possible in Libya.
- Pray that God will raise up a movement of reconciliation in this nation instead of lawlessness.