24 October 2016
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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

    » 02/01/2013, 00.00


    Islamists chase nuns from Libya, people pray for their return

    Simone Cantarini

    A growing presence of Islamic extremists in Cyrenaica. Sister Celeste Biasolo, former superior of the Convent of the Holy Family of Spoleto in Derna, speaks of a widespread climate of fear, which affects the Libyan people. The monastery was closed in October because of threats from a group of extremists. "The people of Derna miss us and often contact us imploring us to return."

    Rome (AsiaNews) - "Islamic extremists threatened us to leave, not the Libyan people, who instead protected us by coming to visit every day until our departure", Sister Celeste Biasolo, former superior of the convent of the Holy Family of Spoleto in Derna tells AsiaNews. In October she was forced to leave Libya with four other sisters, because of the spread of Islamic extremists in Cyrenaica. The situation described by the religious is also confirmed by Msgr. Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli, who recently pointed out that two other religious communities will leave Cyrenaica after having been threatened by Islamists: the Franciscan Sisters of the Infant Jesus of Barce and the Ursuline Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Beida.

    Sister Celeste Biasolo describes a climate of fear in Cyrenaica, which is especially affecting the Libyan people: "The same Muslim population is being terrorized by this situation. The people of Derna miss us and often contact us imploring us to come back. At Christmas more than 100 families called to our monastery in Spoleto with greetings for us". "In Cyrenaica - she explains - the Islamists do not want to attack the Church as such, but the West, and unfortunately we are seen as foreigners. This is because the country is without a government and can not even guarantee the security of its citizens".

    The presence of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Spoleto in Libya dates back to 1921. The founder of the Institute, Blessed Peter Bonilli, wanted to open a mission in Cyrenaica, in the city of Derna. Sister Celeste notes that until their departure, the mission of the religious and the Church in Libya has focused primarily on health care and care for the elderly. "In these years - she says - we have tried to show joy of his own life of Christians and the Gospel through our presence and humanitarian work." According to the religious this struck the Muslim population who continue to consider the sisters a fundamental part of their community.



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    See also

    12/09/2012 LIBYA
    Cyrenaica, the friendship of religious sisters with Libyan Islamists
    Sister Celeste Biasolo, superior of the convent of the Holy Family of Derna, says that for over 92 years there has been a bond between the religious and the Muslim population. On August 15, the city mobilized to help the sisters victims of a robbery by two young criminals. Service to the sick and the elderly, the silent witness of the love of Christ among Muslims.

    15/03/2013 LIBYA
    Benghazi, the Coptic Church of St. Mark is torched
    The attack took place last night. Authors of the act Still unknown. The building had been attacked a few weeks ago.

    20/02/2015 LIBYA
    Three car bombs kill 40, wound 70 in the Libyan town of Qubbah
    The multiple bomb attack hit the city eastern city, which is not far from areas under the control of the terrorists of the Islamic State (IS) group. According to Libya's parliamentary speaker Saleh, the bombings are retaliation for Egyptian air force strikes against Derna, an IS stronghold. The international community is looking for a solution to the crisis that has split the country.

    14/05/2013 LIBYA
    Benghazi in revolt against Islamists following deadly attack
    The attack targeted a hospital and destroyed several buildings: death toll continues to rise. It is the first act of violence against civilian targets after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi. Thousands take to the streets to demand an end to the government and the expulsion of the Islamist militias. The Pentagon sends 500 marines to the NATO base in Sigonella (Sicily, Italy).

    02/03/2013 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.

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