Christians in two heavily Islamic nations were struggling Thursday, March 21, as believers in Libya faced rebuilding their torched church while half-a-world away in Indonesia, Christians were ordered to dismantle their place of worship.
The St Mark’s Church in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi was burned down March 14 after protests against the death of Egyptian Christian Ezzat Atallah in a Libyan prison, earlier that week.
Prisoner Atallah, who suffered from diabetes and heart ailments, likely died of natural causes, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said.
He was among five Evangelical Christian Egyptians detained in Libya for evangelism, or “proselytizing”, in the predominantly Muslim nation.
Earlier this month, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry intervened to win release from Libya of 55 Egyptians who were charged with proselytizing. Thirty-five of them were deported for illegally entering the country, while 20 were cleared to stay in Libya, news reports said.