A Libyan man who converted to Christianity has been arrested in the eastern city of Benghazi, local sources have confirmed to World Watch Monitor.
The man is accused of “proselytising on social media and denigrating Islam”. His arrest was announced on the Facebook page of a branch of Libya’s General Administration for Criminal Investigation – and has been confirmed by its spokesman Walid Arafi, says the Libya Herald.
The Libya Herald also reports that “the agency says that the unnamed man, who apparently converted some time ago, was using social media to urge others to change their faith”. It also says that he was in contact with a fellow convert in Morocco, named simply as Rashid, who was helping him. It adds that it managed to track him down using the IP address of his computer.
The Constitutional Declaration of Libya, in place since 2011, declares Islam as the religion of Libya and says that the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia). This declaration, regarded as Libya’s interim constitution, doesn’t say anything about conversion. Non-Muslims are, according to this declaration, free to practice their faith. “Conversion away from Islam is wholly unacceptable to most Libyans”, says the Libya Herald.
In the past two months, several non-Libyan Christians have also been arrested by different militias; none has yet been freed.