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As Islamic State advances in Libya, bishop vows to stay

February 16, 2015

The apostolic vicar of Tripoli, Libya, has promised to remain with the faithful there, at a time when most foreigners are rushing to leave the embattled country.

Bishop Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli told Vatican Radio that Islamic militants have entered Tripoli, and prospects for the country’s small Christian minority are bleak. But speaking for those Christians, he said: “We are ready to bear witness to whom we are and to what we do according to the words of Christ.”

Bishop Martinelli charged that the Western world had neglected to build real relationships with the people of Libya, seeking instead to protect special interests—notably in oil. The lack of dialogue with the Western world has contributed to the country’s current plight, he said: “the void, the selfishness and the economic interests that have led to the deep and tragic fractures within the Libyan nation.”


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