Despite Fighting Church Persists With Libya Mission

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Catholic clergy in eastern Libya vowed to continue ministering to local Church members despite an upsurge in fighting around the provincial capital of Benghazi.

Bishop Sylvester Magro, leader of the city’s Catholic community, told Catholic News Service: “Although things are quieter this week, the fighting hasn’t stopped. But most Catholics are relatively safe in their local workplaces.

“Like other local citizens, we’re not receiving help or protection from the authorities and the situation is too unclear to permit any normal life. But we’re continuing our prayers and Masses even though attendance has fallen and many people are now afraid to come to Church,” he said as militia commanded by a retired general attacked Islamist positions around the city.

Bishop Magro said Benghazi’s shops and markets remained well stocked with food and clothing, while there had been “no open hostilities” toward local Catholics.

However, a priest in al-Bayda said Catholic fears had been heightened by recent incidents, including a break-in at a Catholic chapel in Tobruk. “There’s been no frontal hostility or open bad will toward us, but some groups appear to want to intimidate us by stirring inter-religious resentments,” Franciscan Father Piotr Borkowski said.

The Polish priest said that it is difficult to determine what ordinary Muslims “really think and feel about” Catholics. “But most people just want to live peacefully and safely here, and there are still hopes the situation will calm down. We ourselves have always been careful never to provoke anyone by giving the impression we’re here to spread Christianity,” he told… Read More

Source and Original Content by Catholic Herald

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