Four Christians have been detained by Libyan authorities. The four are suspected of proselytizing according to the spokesperson for the Protective Security Service of the Libyan military.
The four were from different countries. There was a South African, and Egyptian, a South Korean as well as a Swede who had dual citizenship and was traveling on a US passport.The four were detained in Benghazi in the east of Libya.
The four had printed 70 books about Christianity and distributed 25 of them according to Huseein Ben Hamid, a spokesperson to the Protective Security Service. Police said they found 45,000 books in their possession. Any attempt to convert Muslims to another faith is illegal in Libya. This is hardly a regime that fosters freedom of religion or speech when different religions are unable legally to try to convince Muslims to convert. Ben Hamid said the four would be subject to further investigation within the next few days. Hamid would not say where those arrested were being held. He also claimed that embassy officials had visited them.
The US and South Korean embassies in Libya refused to comment on the arrests when contacted by Bloomberg news. The Swedish Foreign Ministry confirmed that a dual national Swedish-American citizen was arrested while traveling on a U.S. passport. While authorities seem unable to arrest and charge those associated with the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, they seem quite able to seize four Christians engaged in the crime of trying to spread their faith.
In 2012, the International Committee of the Red Cross suspended activities in Benghazi after their offices were attacked by militants who accused the aid group of distributing Bibles and proselytizing. There have been a number of attacks on Christians since the ouster of Gadaffi and many Christians have already fled the country as reported earlier in Digital Journal.
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