Four Christian Egyptians Kidnapped by Armed Men, Remain Missing in Libya
Four Egyptian Christians were reportedly kidnapped by unknown persons this week in Libya near the city of Sirte while attempting to leave the country.
According to the Libya Herald, the four victims are named as brothers Jamal Matta Hakim, Rafat Matta Hakim, and Romani Matta Hakim, and the son of their cousin, Adel Sadiki Hakim.
They were abducted while on their way from Tripoli to the Egyptian border to leave the country.
"[The four] were in a vehicle with three other Egyptians, who are Muslims, and had just passed through Sirte when they were stopped at a checkpoint. Armed men asked to see the passengers' papers and passports. Then they began asking each passenger about his religious beliefs," reports the Libya Herald.
One of the passengers revealed that when the armed men realized that four of the Egyptians were Christians, they ordered them to disembark and ordered the driver to leave with the other three.
When one of the passengers and the driver asked what would happen to the victims, the abductors became angry and began to threaten them, telling them to leave immediately.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Egypt has reportedly has since been notified and has promised to take action. Yesterday, the Ministry warned Egyptians not to use that border crossing anymore, citing dangerous living conditions at the border.
According to persecution watchdog Open Doors USA, Libya is the scene of fierce fighting between different militia, and the weak national government is unable to control the violence in the country. This year alone, several foreign Christians have been killed and foreign workers have left the country because of the security situation.
"Open Doors recognizes this incident is a result of the current insecure situation in the country. The position of national and foreign believers is rapidly deteriorating," the group said in a statement.
"Please pray for the four kidnapped men. Please also pray also for the Libyan and foreign Christians in the country."
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