AFRICA/LIBYA - Attack near the Catholic church in Benghazi

Monday, 20 May 2013

Tripoli (Agenzia Fides) - A bomb attack against the Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception in Benghazi (Libya), happened on the night of May 17.
"They put a bomb at the entrance of the corridor leading to the courtyard where there is the door of the church. The church, therefore, was not touched directly, but the attack is not a positive sign, " says His Exc. Mgr. Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli to Fides Agency.
Mgr. Martinelli points out the difficult situation in which the small Christian community in the capital of Cyrenaica lives because of Islamic extremism. "The Church in Libya is suffering. In Benghazi the Coptic Church was hit, their chaplain was killed and now the Catholic Church, " says the Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli. "As I reported on other occasions, in Cyrenaica different religious women institutes have been forced to close their doors, in Tobruk, Derna, Beida, Barce, as well as in Benghazi. The nuns who were forced to leave, served the population with generosity " says Mgr. Martinelli.
"But I must add that yesterday, on Pentecost Sunday, despite the attack in Benghazi, the Mass was attended by several people, mostly Libyans who wanted to show their solidarity to the priests and the few remaining nuns " says the Apostolic Vicar.
"Enough of this violence that makes no sense, in particular given the desire for dialogue that has always been there on our behalf. But I have confidence in the good will of the Libyan people, who love us, " concluded Mgr. Martinelli. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 20/05/2013)