Almost every day, men, women and children drown or are rescued from boats sinking in the Mediterranean Sea. These people pay large sums to make a perilous journey, most often setting out from the shores of Libya. Most are sub-Saharan Africans seeking a better life in Europe. Libya’s human trafficking is controlled by its militia. It is a lucrative business. The smugglers do not care about the lives of migrants and the coastguard is often complicit. Young Libyans, lured by money, are also being recruited to help with the smuggling process. Pray that the stronghold of people trafficking would be broken in Libya and that those directly involved in people trafficking would wake up to the reality of what they are doing. Pray for all those who have been affected by people trafficking.
Libya is experiencing tribal unrest, civil war, multiple governments claiming authority, poorly resourced medical care, and is the epicenter of human trafficking across the Mediterranean Sea. It is also facing pockets of extremism, including IS. There are very few national Christians and most foreigners have had to leave the country. In a hopeless situation, we know that God can change hearts, allow people to forgive, bring about healing and bring eternal hope. Pray that Libyans who are seeking answers would find hope and peace in Jesus Christ. Pray for peace and stability in Libya, allowing the gospel to spread freely.
The continued conflict and unrest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are directly impacting the lives of more than 50 million Arabic speakers. As a result, there is a spiritual hunger for truth, change and peace. Amidst danger and uncertainty, SAT-7 viewers are grappling to live faithfully for God. One way in which SAT-7 is seeking to teach and equip Christians is through the TEACH project (Theological Education for Arab Christians at Home). TEACH aims to provide systematic theological teaching for Arab believers who often have no other means of receiving it. Please pray for all those receiving this teaching to be built-up and equipped to share the gospel and spread the flame.
Below what one worker recently wrote is a good reminder that, in a fast changing world, we need to make the most of every opportunity while it’s there. “There has always been some element of never knowing how long we’ll be allowed to stay in the country. However, in the last year that uncertainty has increased. A number of workers have been deported, and at least one now has a lifetime ban from the country. Pray for us, as a worker community, that we would have peace, knowing that God is sovereign and our times are in his hands, and pray too that we would make the most of every opportunity, while its there.”
The brother of two of the 21 Coptic Christians murdered in Libya used live television to thank their killers for including the men's declaration of faith in the video of their execution. Christian channel SAT-7 ARABIC has become a mouthpiece for the families of the young men over the last six weeks since they were first abducted. Please pray that the martyrdom of these men will have significant impact on those who hear about it. Pray for their families as they display forgiveness showing the love and mercy of Christ in the face of persecution.
The violence in Libya is sadly continuing but, despite this, dozens of mission workers continue to minister there, coordinating their efforts through a network that has been built on the foundation of 15+ years of partnership. Almost half of the Christian workers do not come from traditional sending countries but rather from other Arab-Muslim lands. Pray for them and also for the small number of Libyan believers, who are often isolated and scattered, hungry for fellowship.
There is an African proverb which says, “When elephants fight it’s the grass that suffers the most”. Where there is conflict it is always the most vulnerable, defenceless and innocent who suffer - often that means children. The on-going conflict in the Middle East and North Africa may no longer be taking centre stage in our news, but from Tunisia to Bahrain uprisings and political unrest continue to severely affect people’s everyday lives. In many of these countries, children were already struggling to get access to food, healthcare and education. The unrest is turning many children’s daily lives into a fight for their very survival. Pray that God would move powerfully to bring about peaceful resolutions to these conflicts and for Christians in the affected countries, and throughout the world, to speak out on behalf of the children who are suffering.
As Gadhafi was falling in 2011, thousands of heavily armed Tuareg fighters in southern Libya fled to northern Mali. By denying people their right to education, Gadhafi's rule left behind a potential breeding ground for terrorism. There is a danger that al-Qaida could make inroads among Libya's impoverished and alienated Tuareg. Living in mud-brick slums or camps in the deserts of southwestern Libya, most Tuaregs were never given citizenship under Gadhafi's rule, though he used their fighters as mercenaries. Now they suffer not only from poverty but from the disdain of Libyans who see them as Gadhafi loyalists. The Tuareg are an ‘unengaged’ people - no one is reaching them. Pray for those that God has called to reach the Tuaregs to obey, as well as for the translation of the Bible into the Tuareg language.
Having been forced to leave the more prosperous regions of Libya, the Berber people are now numerous in Morocco and Algeria. Approximately 270,000 remain in Libya; the majority are Sunni Muslims who belong to a tiny Islamic sect called Ibadaya. Berber villages in Libya are small and difficult to reach. Many of them live underground in cave-like houses carved vertically or horizontally into the soft limestone and marlstone. Ask God to provide the resources needed to reach the Berber, both geographically and spiritually. Ask God to soften the hearts of the Berber people toward the gospel and pray for teams of believers to be raised up who will live and work among them.
Population: 6,541,948 (2015)
Official languages: Arabic
GDP (PPP) per capita: $13,501 (2017 est.)
Life expectancy: 75 years
Religions: 96% Muslim, 2% Orthodox, 1% Catholic, 1% other religions