Libya Arrests Foreign ‘Missionaries’

February 25, 2013

From The Guardian:

Four foreigners have been arrested in Libya on suspicion of being missionaries and distributing Christian literature, a charge that could carry the death penalty.

The four – a Swedish-American, Egyptian, South African and South Korean – were arrested in Benghazi by Preventative Security, an intelligence unit of the defence ministry, accused of printing and distributing bible pamphlets in the city.

Libya retains a law from the Muammar Gaddafi era that makes proselytising a criminal offence potentially punishable by death. The arrests underlined the sometimes difficult relationship between churches and the new authorities.

"Proselytising is forbidden in Libya. We are a 100% Muslim country and this kind of action affects our national security," security official Hussein Bin Hmeid told Reuters.

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