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2014-08-04

AFRICA/LIBYA - "Even if only one Christian remains I will stay here", says the Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli

Tripoli (Agenzia Fides) - "The Christian community in Libya is now reduced to a minimum but I intend to stay here even if only one Christian remains", says His Exc. Mgr. Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli to Fides Agency. Libya is going through the most difficult period since the fall of the Gaddafi regime. In Tripoli, the bloody clashes between various militias for the control of the airport have created serious damage to airport facilities. The situation in Cyrenaica is even more confusing due to the presence of different militias fighting for the control of the territory.
Mgr. Martinelli sums up the situation of the Christian community in Libya, "in Cyrenaica there are no nuns while the majority of Filipinos are leaving the region, who are the heart of the Christian community in Libya. In Tripoli, there is still a good presence of Filipinos but even here many of them are leaving".
"The Church lives in relationship with this presence of lay people who work in the health sector and given the situation this is really a time of strong ordeal. I do not know where we will end up but I am confident that a group of people will be here to serve the Church", said Mgr. Martinelli.
"Fighting seems to have ended, but the situation remains precarious. The airport is closed and people start boarding ships. Even the journey overland to the Tunisian border has become impossible".
"I still have confidence in the future of Libya but we are in God's hands", says Mgr. Martinelli, who says he does not want to leave the Country. "I cannot leave the few remaining Christians", concluded Mgr. Martinelli who launches an appeal to prayer, because "prayer alone can solve difficult situations like the one in Libya today". (LM) (Agenzia Fides 04/08/2014)

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