Six Libyans may face the death penalty for converting to Christianity and encouraging others to do the same.
The believers were charged under Article 207 of Libya’s penal code, which punishes any attempt to spread views that aim to “alter fundamental constitutional principles, or the fundamental structures of the social order, or overthrow the state, and anyone who possesses books, leaflets, drawings, slogans or any other items that promote their cause”.
The Christians, who are from western Libya, had been detained by the authorities in March. One of the believers is a 22-year-old woman who released a video explaining her conversion which took place when she was 15 years of age.
In a statement from Libya’s Internal Security Agency, it was reported that the arrests were made to “stop an organised gang action aiming to solicit and make people leave Islam”.
According to the interim constitution of Libya, while Islam is the state religion and the principal source of legislation, non-Muslims in the country are guaranteed the freedom to practise their religion.