CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION STATUS
Out of six million, only 0.5% are Christian. After independence following World War II, Jews in Libya faced great persecution, resulting in the exodus of 31,000 Jews to Israel in the 1950s (BBC). They continue to face social discrimination.
Freedom of religion exists in Libya, aside from the right to proselytize. Freedom of assembly is not allowed unless in direct support of the government. Numerous churches are “underground.” The majority of Libya’s Christian population are foreigners.
In recent years Libyan society has become increasingly restrictive, particularly for women. The country’s legislation is based on Islamic sharia law, and in some areas, corporal punishments are in place, including flogging for adultery and amputation for theft. Human traffickers are active in Libya, which is the launching point for African refugees and migrants attempting treacherous journeys to Europe.
Libya has an 81.6% average literacy rate, owing to compulsory free education for both genders (IMT Middle East Literacy Report 2006).
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