Libya: At least 17 Egyptian Coptic Christians go missing, families fear they were targeted because of their faith

October 24, 2021

The the majority of Christians in Libya are members of the Coptic Orthodox Church; Greek Orthodox Christians in Libya are under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Alexandria; likewise. Christians in Libya have faced escalating persecution since the fall of the Gaddafi regime and the ensuing chaos in that nation. In Tripoli, the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George is still open, but is subject to sporadic harassment and persecution.

The Islamic State (ISIS) is still active in Libya. It could be responsible for the disappearance of these Christians.

For more coverage of the persecution of Christians in Libya, see here.

“Egyptian Coptic Christians Disappear in Libya,” International Christian Concern, October 22, 2021:

10/22/2021 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that since September 30, 2021, at least 17 Egyptian Coptic Christians have gone missing in Libya. They were living in an Egyptian neighborhood in Tripoli; it is unknown who took them and why. Some friends and family believe they were detained by the authorities, while others believe they were taken by an armed group. Regardless, they hold a common fear that these individuals were targeted because of their Christian faith and that they may face a deadly fate reminiscent of the 2015 beheading of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya by ISIS.

An Egyptian lawyer whose friend is missing sharedEven now there [is] no confirmed news. (My friend) Emad Nasr and the other Copts traveled to Libya three months ago. They headed to the United Arab Emirates and then to Libya, because there are no direct airlines to Libya. The Copts had visas for Libya (labor visas), but they failed to get work opportunities and the costs of renewing the visas are high. So the police of Libya detained them from September 30 until now.”

“The Copts were staying in the Gargash District in Tripoli. In this residency, they were surrounded by so many persons of other countries like India and Bangladesh. So the action of detaining 17 Copts only is such a mysterious action! We are fearing of repeating an incident like the one who did by ISIS. We are contacting the Egyptian Foreign Ministry to intervene in the situation,” he continued.

The brother of one of the missing Copts said“It is unknown if they were detained by the Libyan authorities or were kidnapped by unknown parties… they lived in the Gargash neighborhood, in which dozens of Egyptians live. We learned from one of the residents there that a number of Egyptians were kidnapped in this neighborhood without knowing their fate.”…