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The gate to the christian cemetery in Tripoli
The ruins of the Basilica of Justinian in Sabratha

Christianity is a minority religion in Libya. The largest Christian group in Libya is the Coptic Orthodox, with a population of over 60,000. [1] The Coptic (Egyptian) Church is known to have several historical roots in Libya long before the Arabs advanced westward from Egypt into Libya. However, the Roman Catholics have a large number as well, with 40,000 members. Orthodox communities other than that of the Egyptian Copts include the Russian Orthodox, Serbian Orthodox, and the Greek Orthodox. There is one Anglican congregation in Tripoli, made up mostly of African immigrant workers in Tripoli and which belongs to the Egyptian Anglican diocese. The Anglican bishop of Libya has his seat in Cairo[2], as most Christians in Libya originate from Egypt, including the Copts. There is also a priest in Sabha[2].

There are relatively peaceful relations between Christians and Muslims in Libya. However, there are restrictions for Christian religious activity. It is prohibited to proselytize Muslims, even though a non-Muslim man must convert to Islam if he wants to marry a Muslim woman. Also, religious literature is restricted.

Contents

Christian Groups in Libya

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Coptic Orthodox Church

Currently, there are 60,000 Copts in Libya, as they have many roots in North Africa (primarily Egypt). [1]

Historically speaking, Christianity spread to the Pentapolis in North Africa from Egypt; [3] Synesius of Cyrene (370-414), bishop of Ptolemais, received his instruction at Alexandria in both the Catechetical School and the Museion, and he entertained a great deal of reverence and affection for Hypatia, the last pagan Neoplatonists, whose classes he had attended. Synesius was raised to the episcopate by Theophilus, patriarch of Alexandria, in 410 AD Since the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, Cyrenaica had been recognized as an ecclesiastical province of the See of Alexandria, in accordance with the ruling of the Nicaean Fathers. The Pope of Alexandria to this day includes the Pentapolis in his title as an area within his jurisdiction. [4]

The Coptic congregations in several countries were under the ancient Eparchy of the Western Pentapolis, which was part of the Coptic Orthodox Church for centuries until the thirteenth century. [5]

In 1971 Pope Shenouda III reinstated it as part of the Eparchy of His Eminence Pachomius, Metropolitan of the Holy Metropolis of Beheira (Thmuis & Hermopolis Parva), (Buto), Mariout (Mareotis), Marsa Matruh (Paraetonium), (Apis), Patriarchal Exarch of the Ancient Metropolis of Libya: (Livis, Marmarica, Darnis & Tripolitania) & Titular Metropolitan Archbishop of the Great and Ancient Metropolis of Pentapolis: (Cyrenaica), (Appollonia), (Ptolemais), (Berenice) and (Arsinoe).

This was one among a chain of many restructuring of several eparchies by Pope Shenouda III, while some of them were incorporated into the jurisdiction of others, especially those who were within an uncovered region or which were part of a Metropolis that became extinct, or by dividing large eparchies into smaller more manageble eparchies. This was also a part of the restructuring of the Church as a whole.

They are currently 3 Coptic Orthodox Churches in Libya: one in Tripoli, Libya (St. Mark's), one in Benghazi, Libya (St. Antonios — 2 priests), and one in Misurata, Libya (St. Mary & St. George). [6]

Roman Catholic Church

The San Francisco Catholic Church in Dhahra, Tripoli.

There are about 40,000 Roman Catholics, mostly Italian Libyans and Maltese Libyans. Roman Catholic Vicariates Apostolic exist in Benghazi, Derna and Tripoli. There is a Prefecture Apostolic in Misurata. There are two Bishops, one in Tripoli (Bishop Giovanni Martinelli - serving the Italian community in the church of San Francisco in Dhahra) [7] and one in Benghazi (Bishop Sylvester Carmel Magro - serving the Maltese community in the church of the Immaculate Conception). [8]

See also

External links

References



Christianity is a minority religion in Libya. The largest Christian group in Libya is the Coptic Orthodox, with a population of over 60,000. [1] The Coptic (Egyptian) Church is known to have several historical roots in Libya long before the Arabs advanced westward from Egypt into Libya. However, the Roman Catholics have a large number as well, with 40,000 members. Orthodox communities other than that of the Egyptian Copts include the Russian Orthodox, Serbian Orthodox, and the Greek Orthodox. There is one Anglican congregation in Tripoli, made up mostly of African immigrant workers in Tripoli and which belongs to the Egyptian Anglican diocese. The Anglican bishop of Libya has his seat in Cairo[2], as most Christians in Libya originate from Egypt[original research?], including the Copts[original research?]. There is also a priest in Sabha[2].

There are relatively peaceful relations between Christians and Muslims in Libya. However, there are restrictions for Christian religious activity. It is prohibited to proselytize Muslims, even though a non-Muslim man must convert to Islam if he wants to marry a Muslim woman. Also, religious literature is restricted.

Contents

Christian Groups in Libya

Coptic Orthodox Church

Currently, there are 60,000 Copts in Libya, as they have many roots in North Africa (primarily Egypt). [1]

Historically speaking, Christianity spread to the Pentapolis in North Africa from Egypt; [3] Synesius of Cyrene (370-414), bishop of Ptolemais, received his instruction at Alexandria in both the Catechetical School and the Museion, and he entertained a great deal of reverence and affection for Hypatia, the last pagan Neoplatonists, whose classes he had attended. Synesius was raised to the episcopate by Theophilus, patriarch of Alexandria, in 410 AD Since the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, Cyrenaica had been recognized as an ecclesiastical province of the See of Alexandria, in accordance with the ruling of the Nicaean Fathers. The Pope of Alexandria to this day includes the Pentapolis in his title as an area within his jurisdiction. [4]

The Coptic congregations in several countries were under the ancient Eparchy of the Western Pentapolis, which was part of the Coptic Orthodox Church for centuries until the thirteenth century. [5]

In 1971 Pope Shenouda III reinstated it as part of the Eparchy of His Eminence Pachomius, Metropolitan of the Holy Metropolis of Beheira (Thmuis & Hermopolis Parva), (Buto), Mariout (Mareotis), Marsa Matruh (Paraetonium), (Apis), Patriarchal Exarch of the Ancient Metropolis of Libya: (Livis, Marmarica, Darnis & Tripolitania) & Titular Metropolitan Archbishop of the Great and Ancient Metropolis of Pentapolis: (Cyrenaica), (Appollonia), (Ptolemais), (Berenice) and (Arsinoe).

Christianity by Country

Full list Template:•   [[Template:FULLPAGENAME: Christianity by country|v]]  [[{{TALKPAGENAME:Template:FULLPAGENAME: Christianity by country}}|d]]  [{{fullurl:Template:FULLPAGENAME: Christianity by country|action=edit}}e] 

This was one among a chain of many restructuring of several eparchies by Pope Shenouda III, while some of them were incorporated into the jurisdiction of others, especially those who were within an uncovered region or which were part of a Metropolis that became extinct, or by dividing large eparchies into smaller more manageble eparchies. This was also a part of the restructuring of the Church as a whole.

They are currently 3 Coptic Orthodox Churches in Libya: one in Tripoli, Libya (St. Mark's), one in Benghazi, Libya (St. Antonios — 2 priests), and one in Misurata, Libya (St. Mary & St. George). [6]

Roman Catholic Church

in 1940]]

There are about 40,000 Roman Catholics, mostly Italian Libyans and Maltese Libyans. Roman Catholic Vicariates Apostolic exist in Benghazi, Derna and Tripoli. There is a Prefecture Apostolic in Misurata. There are two Bishops, one in Tripoli (Bishop Giovanni Martinelli - serving the Italian community in the church of San Francisco in Dhahra) [7] and one in Benghazi (Bishop Sylvester Carmel Magro - serving the Maltese community in the church of the Immaculate Conception). [8]

See also

External links

References


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