- (Photo: REUTERS / Ismail Zitouny)
- (Photo: Reuters/Thaier al-Sudani)
- (Photo: Reuters/Courtesy Al Jazeera TV)
Christian organization Open Doors USA has questioned the fate of Christians in Libya following ex-dictator Muammar Gaddafi was killed today, thus ending the eight month Libya conflict.
Gaddafi, who ruled Libya with an iron fist for 42 years, was shot by Misrata Military Council in his hometown of Sirte today.
“We have been waiting for this moment for a long time,” confirmed Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril.
“This marks the end of a long and painful chapter for Libya,” contended American president Barack Obama.
With the death of the dictator, questions are now arising concerning the future of Libya’s government. Critics wonder if the Transitional Council will be able to uphold a democratic government without the need for military support.
Democratic nations worry a military government will maintain control in the North African country. Fear for Christians in North Africa has heightened after the recent violence in Egypt, in which 27 Coptic Christians were killed while peacefully protesting the burning of a church in Cairo on Oct. 9. Many blame the military regime for using brute force and implanting a sectarian society, pitting Muslims against Christians.
The fate of Libya’s Christian population now also hangs in the balance. Only about 150 Christians remain in Libya since most emigrated after the anti-Gaddafi protests began in February.
President and CEO of Open Doors USA Dr. Carl Moeller, contends that the future of Libya is anyone’s guess.
Although there are many people who believe democracy will be achieved, Dr. Moeller told The Christian Post that “there are a number of people who believe that there may be more oppression of the Christian population through an increase in radicalized Muslims.”
Moeller went on to say that he sees "opportunity in the chaos," noting that more bibles have been sold in North Africa in the past nine months than in the past nine years.
In reference to Libya’s future government, Moeller stated: “Our prayer is that they will have the full rights of religious freedom that should be afforded to all people.”
Gaddafi, who led Libya for 42 years, has been in hiding since rebel forces seized the capital Tripoli and only emerged to call upon his loyalists to take back the country from “devils and traitors.”
Although he was ousted from power in late August, Gaddafi loyalists continued to resist the new Libyan government, prolonging an 8 month civil war and halting the country’s political progression.
The media is circulating footage of Libyans celebrating the death of Gaddafi. The dictator’s death signifies the civil war is effectively over, and there is a promising future of the Libyan people.
Only time will tell what will happen to the Libyan government after Gaddafi’s death. Depending on the outcome of the government system, critics argue that Christians may immigrate back into Libya if it is considered safe enough.
Gaddafi was wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, for crimes against humanity. It was believed that after rebels captured Tripoli and were unable to find Gaddafi there, that he was hiding in his hometown of Sirte, which is where he was killed today.