On the morning of Saturday 3 January armed militants kidnapped at least 13 Egyptian Christians from a housing complex in Sirte, Libya.
Militants went room to room checking ID cards and specifically taking Christians while leaving Muslim Egyptians unharmed. This is the third incident of violence by extremists against Christians in Libya in just the past two weeks, and is just the latest in a long line of attacks against Christians in the violence-riddled country.
Fr Philemon Attia, a priest of the Mar Girgis church in Beni Suef, whose nephew Abanoub Ayad Attia was among those taken spoke with a representative of the Foreign Ministry and provided the names the 13 men who were kidnapped: Maged Shehata Suleiman – Abanoub Ayad Attia – Youssef Shokry Younan – Hany Abdel Massih Salib – Kerrolos Bushra Fawzy – Milad Makeen Zaky – Makram Youssef Tawadros – Samuel Stephanos Kamel – Bishoy Stephanos Kamel – Mina Fayez Aziz – Malak Ibrahim Tanewt – Girgis Milad Tanewt – Bishoy Adel. “The representative said that they would do its best to investigate and follow up on the case,” Fr. Philemon said.
This latest abduction comes just five days after seven Coptic Christians were abducted Tuesday, 30 December from a microbus as they were trying to return to Egypt.
According to Fr. Philemon, the seven who were abducted on Tuesday were living in the same housing complex and that was raided on Saturday. Abanoub told his uncle that he and others for more than a month had been wanting to leave Libya but did not have a safe way to exit the country.
These two incidents follow closely the brutal murder of Magdy Sobhy Tawfiq, an Egyptian doctor, Sahar, his pharmacist wife, and the couple’s 13-year-old daughter, Catherine, which occurred 23-25 December, also in Sirte, Libya.
Fr Philemon also appealed to President Sisi to intervene on behalf of those abducted in Libya and to work for their release.
Source: International Christian Concern
- Ask the Lord to deliver these Christians from their captors so they may be able to return to their homes and families.
- Pray that in the meantime, the Lord will strengthen them so they will not despair but hope in the Him during this time of severe trial.
- Pray the Lord will grow His church in Libya in spite of the severe opposition.