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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 03/02/2013
LIBYA
Benghazi, 48 Egyptian Christians arrested on religious grounds
The arrest came after a complaint by some Islamists annoyed at Christian images carried by the group of Egyptians, all street and market vendors in Benghazi. Each one forced to shave their head in punishment. For the authorities, they are illegal immigrants and their detention has nothing to do with religion.

Benghazi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Islamists in Benghazi continue their hunt of Christian workers in the country accusing them of proselytism. The latest case concerns the arrest of 48 Egyptian Coptic Orthodox traders arrested last week in the capital of Cyrenaica. They were detained after a complaint by some Libyans, suspicious of the religious imagery on the vendors boards and stalls in the market of Benghazi. In a video immediately seized by police they appear locked in a small room watched over by men who have the typical beard worn by Salafists (see photo). From the pictures the 48 appear in an obvious state of physical deterioration, many show bruises and abrasions. Each of them had their head shaved.

The case has sparked outrage among the population of Benghazi, which in October rose up against the Salafi militias accused of having organized the attack on the U.S. consulate in which Ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed. Yesterday, the authorities issued a statement in which they declare that the hawkers were arrested for violating immigration laws and not for religious reasons. However, this is yet another case of discrimination against Christians living in Libya. In mid-February four foreigners - an Egyptian, a South African, a South Korean and a Swede with a U.S. passport - were arrested on charges of distributing Bibles and other religious material.

The spread of Islamic extremism is also affecting the Catholic religious orders present for decades on Libyan territory, engaged in hospital work and looking after the elderly. In January, the Islamists prompted the flight of the Franciscan Sisters of the Infant Jesus from Barce and the Ursuline Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus from Beida. In October instead it was the turn of nuns from the Convent of the Holy Family of Spoleto in Derna, forced to leave Libya due to continuous threats from Islamic extremists, despite the opposition of the inhabitants of the city.

 


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See also
03/12/2013 EGYPT - LIBYA
Christian dies in Benghazi: wrath of Egyptian Copts against Libya explodes in Cairo
02/16/2013 LIBYA
Libya, Salafists ready to destroy Tripoli’s symbolic statute. The population revolts
03/15/2013 LIBYA
Benghazi, the Coptic Church of St. Mark is torched
05/14/2013 LIBYA
Benghazi in revolt against Islamists following deadly attack
01/08/2013 LIBYA
Libya, Msgr. Martinelli: the Coptic Orthodox and all Christians are not a target of extremists

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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