Second American arrested in Libya for Christian proselytism

Second American arrested in Libya for Christian proselytism

A second American, an English teacher in Tripoli, was arrested for Christian proselytism, a Libyan security service said Thursday, the day after the announcement of the arrest of one of his compatriots for the same reason.

The Internal Security Organ (OSI) said in a statement that it had arrested "SBO, of American nationality", deputy director of a language teaching center in Tripoli, and who operates "in the company of his wife, as missionary on behalf of the organization Assemblies of God in order to seduce the sons of our Muslim people".

“Assemblies of God”, or the assemblies of God, is an organization of missionaries founded in the State of Arkansas in the United States in 1914. The OSI announced on Wednesday the arrest for Christian proselytism of a first American , also teaching in the same language centre.

His name was not specified, but Libyan media identified him as Jeff Wilson, founder and boss of the consulting firm Libya Business.

In Thursday's press release, the OSI also announced the arrest of two Libyans, including "a 22-year-old girl, converted when she was 15" and who recounts in a video where she appears with her face blurred how she in turn became a "missionary" and responsible for "recruiting young Libyans".

Several Libyans were arrested recently for proselytism, apostasy and promotion of atheism and referred to the prosecution after confessions filmed and published in the media and social networks.

Since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011, in the wake of the Arab Spring, Libya has been plunged into chaos and division. Two governments are vying for power, one based in Tripoli (west) and recognized by the UN, the other based in the east and supported by the camp of Marshal Khalifa Haftar and the House of Representatives.

Islam is the official religion in Libya. Non-Muslims in the country are foreigners, mostly Christians, who have the freedom to worship in churches, especially in Tripoli.

Editorial staff with AFP

Image credit: Shutterstock / em_concepts

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