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LIBYA: STORM CLOUDS GATHER
By Elizabeth Kendal
Libya has multiple 'governments'. There is the General National Congress (GNC), which is based in the western city of Tripoli, Libya's capital. The GNC is backed by Libya Dawn (a jihadist coalition which includes many al-Qaeda-affiliated militias) and is committed to establishing an Islamic State. Then there is the ousted House of Representatives (HoR) or 'Tobruk Government', which is based in the eastern city of Tobruk and backed by the anti-Islamist, anti-jihadist Libyan National Army (LNA) under the command of Gen. Khalifa Haftar. In between them, al-Baghdadi's Islamic State / Caliphate (IS) controls at least 150km of coastline around Sirte. The 'international community' has entertained hopes that the Tripoli government might voluntarily integrate with the Tobruk government in a Government of National Accord (GNA) to form a unified front against IS. Though a UN-backed deal was brokered in December 2015, hardliners on both sides rejected the deal, with Islamists refusing to co-operate with nationalists and vice versa. Despite Western-UN backing, the GNA has neither 'legs' nor legitimacy. Nevertheless, it seems the GNA will soon invite Western powers to launch an anti-IS military intervention in Libya.
|click on map to enlarge|
|Anglican Church Tripoli, |
in better days
PLEASE PRAY SPECIFICALLY THAT
* Yahweh Sabaoth, the Lord of Hosts, will intervene to 'throw [the jihadists] into great confusion, until they are destroyed' (from Deuteronomy 7). May they 'fade like the grass'; may their 'arms' (means of action) 'be broken'; may they 'vanish' like 'smoke'; may they be 'cut off' (from Psalm 37). May the LORD contend with them (from Isaiah 49:24-26)!
* Jesus Christ, having already bound the strongman [Satan] through the cross, will continue to 'plunder his house': i.e. liberate his captives/slaves; i.e. rescue the lost, including Muslims -- even jihadists and persecutors of the Church. (See Matthew 12:22-32)
* Christ will pour out his Spirit in great abundance on the remnant Church in Libya and across North Africa so that believers will have all the wisdom, faith, courage and grace they need to navigate the troubled days ahead. 'The Lord is my shepherd ...' (Psalm 23)
SUMMARY FOR BULLETINS UNABLE TO RUN THE WHOLE ARTICLE
STORM CLOUDS GATHER OVER LIBYA
It appears likely that Libya's newly formed UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) will invite Western powers to launch an anti-IS military intervention in Libya. However, the GNA is rejected by both the Islamist government in Tripoli and the anti-Islamist government in Tobruk. Meanwhile, Libya's Islamic jihadists have united with the aim of capturing the oil fields and launching jihad into Egypt and across North Africa, as well as into Italy and across Europe -- hence the likelihood that Libya will soon be aflame. The threat to the remnant Libyan Church is extreme. If the jihadists succeed, the threat will spread explosively. Egypt's indigenous Christian Copts also would be gravely imperilled, as would the vulnerable, largely Berber Church in Tunisia and Algeria. Please pray for God to intervene in Libya.
Elizabeth Kendal is the author of Turn Back the Battle: Isaiah Speaks to Christians Today (Deror Books, Dec 2012) which offers a Biblical response to persecution and existential threat.
Elizabeth Kendal’s new book, After Saturday Comes Sunday: Understanding the Christian Crisis in the Middle East, is presently being published by Wipf and Stock (Eugene, OR, USA) and will be available shortly.