Jump directly to the content

Seven Egyptian Christians Executed on Benghazi Beach

Killings are latest to rock Christian community since American Ronnie Smith, inspired by John Piper to leave Austin church and teach Libyans, was shot while jogging.
Seven Egyptian Christians Executed on Benghazi Beach
Wikimedia
Benghazi beach

In the latest sign of Coptic Christians' troubles spreading beyond Egypt, seven Christian men have been shot execution-style on a beach outside Benghazi, security officials in Libya announced Monday.

The bodies were found with gunshots to the head in an area where kidnappings and assassinations are common and Islamist militants are active, Reuters reports.

The victims "had been abducted from their homes by armed men," reports Middle East Concern. "These gunmen had gone door-to-door through an apartment building searching for residents who were Christian."

Libya, particularly the Benghazi area, is hostile to Christianity. The nation rose from No. 17 last year to No. 13 this year on Open Doors' World Watch List, which labeled Libya as the "most difficult North African country in which to be a Christian." Religion News Service recently reported on the religious freedom concerns of Libya's Christians, most of whom are foreign workers.

Ronnie Smith, an American Christian inspired by John Piper to leave his Austin church and work as a chemistry teacher in Benghazi, was shot and killed Dec. 5 while jogging in the area. Smith had been preparing to administer the final exam for his course before flying back to the U.S. for Christmas.

CT previously reported the release of an American citizen and three other foreign Christians held in a Benghazi jail last February for allegedly distributing pamphlets that promoted Christianity. Nearly 50 Egyptian Christians were arrested in Benghazi last March on charges of illegal immigration and were accused of attempting to evangelize Muslims.

In Libya, proselytization for any religion other than Islam is punishable by death.

CT previously examined whether Coptic evangelism is really on the rise in Africa, based on recent arrests in Libya and Sudan.

Related Topics:None
Posted:February 24, 2014 at 11:22AM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.

Leave a Comment

Use your Christianity Today login to leave a comment on this article.
Not part of the community? Subscribe now, or register for a free account.
Login
or
Subscribe
or
Register
Recent Posts
Guard Kills 3 Americans at Christian Hospital in Afghanistan
Pediatrician "felt called" to leave Chicago's Lawndale Christian Health Center for Kabul.
Israeli Military's Call-Up of Arab Christians Labeled 'Intimidation'
Attempt at increasing recruits ten-fold occurs against backdrop of stalled peace talks, Hamas-PLO reconciliation.
James Dobson's Birthday Gift: Latest Court Victory Over Obamacare Contraception
In shadow of Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby hearing, judge rules in favor of Family Talk.
Bill Gothard Breaks Silence on Harassment Claims by 30 Women
(UPDATED) Popular seminar speaker: 'I have failed to live out some of the very things that I have taught.'