28 July, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 01/08/2013
LIBYA
Libya, Msgr. Martinelli: the Coptic Orthodox and all Christians are not a target of extremists
For the Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli the attack against the church of St. George in Dafniya is the result of social unrest sweeping the country. The Coptic community celebrates Christmas without any more threats.

Measured (AsiaNews) - "The Orthodox Copts in Libya celebrated their Christmas in peace. The late December attack on the church of St. George in Dafniya is the first against Christians in Libya. It is, however, an isolated case, which should be read in the light of social and political instability sweeping the country". This according to Msgr. Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli, who on January 6 visited the Coptic Orthodox community of Tripoli, bringing with him the Catholic Churches best wishes for the Orthodox Christmas which was celebrated yesterday.

On 30 December, a group of unknown persons attacked the Coptic Orthodox Church of St. George in the province of Dafniya in Misrata. Two Egyptian nationals lost their lives in the explosion. Two more were injured. The attack took place shortly after the end of the mass. The group of assailants waited until the faithful were leaving the Church  targeting them with grenades. Timothy Beshara, a priest of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Libya, said that the building was severely damaged, especially the refectory which is now a pile of rubble.

At first, the case was dismissed as a mere "accident", but on pressure from the Egyptian authorities, the government in Tripoli launched investigations to arrest the culprits and dampen rumors of a possible rise of Islamic fundamentalism against Christians.

For Msgr. Martinelli "Christians must above all ask for the protection of the Libyan authorities - says the bishop - helping this new country to grow." According to the prelate there has always been Islamic fundamentalism in Libya, but now the strength of the Islamists is on the wane.

Under the Gaddafi regime about 1.5 million Egyptians worked in Libya. For years, they were the second largest ethnic group after the Libyans. With the start of the civil war more than half of the migrants returned home, but many came back after the fall of Gaddafi. Among them are several thousand Coptic Orthodox Christians, whom together with Catholics and Protestants make up the small local Christian community, which accounts for about 3% of the population.

The coastal town of Dafniya is located about 30 km west of Misrata. The area is still controlled by armed rebel contingents and is the only one that still has roadblocks in the hands of militants. In Misrata, Benghazi and Derna there are different cells of Islamic extremist militant guerrillas also from other Arab countries. On 11 September a group of extremists close to al-Qaeda attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi with heavy weapons, killing the U.S. ambassador to Tripoli Christopher Stevens and three members of his staff. (S.C.)

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
05/14/2013 LIBYA
Benghazi in revolt against Islamists following deadly attack
07/18/2012 LIBYA
Elections: progressive alliance of former NTC Prime Minister wins
03/15/2013 LIBYA
Benghazi, the Coptic Church of St. Mark is torched
03/05/2013 LIBYA
Gunmen attack Coptic Orthodox church in Benghazi, assault two clergymen
12/28/2010 PHILIPPINES
Churches full in Mindanao despite concerns over attacks

Editor's choices
VATICAN
"Stop! I am asking you with all my heart. Stop!" says pope as he speaks out on the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine He mentions children, victims of war, "from whom we take away the hope for a decent life," urging the parties to address "every diatribe with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation and the power of reconciliation". As tomorrow marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, "a day of mourning," we should learn the lessons of history. The Gospel makes us know the true Jesus, the living Jesus, who speaks to the heart and is a life changer as he was for Saint Francis of Assisi. "The joy of finding the treasure of the Kingdom of God comes through, can be seen. Christians cannot hide their faith."
IRAQ - VATICAN
Saddened by "the timidity of the civilised world," Baghdad patriarch's heart bleeding "for the innocent in Iraq, Syria and Gaza" "Forget us not!" says Mar Louis Sako in a message to Card Barbarin on the occasion of the march of solidarity with Iraqi Christians, held today in Lyon.
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".

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.