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Libya Will Release Foreign Missionaries Jailed for Evangelism

(Updated) Defense Ministry: 'To keep good diplomatic relations, they are going to be allowed to go back to their countries.'

Update (April 12): Libya has released the four Egyptian Christians whom Libyan officials arrested for proselytising in exchange for two "senior Qaddafi-era officials ... who face charges in Libya of corruption." All charges against the Christians have been dropped.


Libya has announced that it will free from jail four foreign missionaries who were arrested last month on allegations of evangelism, according to Bloomberg News.

Citing "homeland security" concerns, police arrested the missionaries on charges of printing and distributing Christian pamphlets in Benghazi. It originally was thought that they could face the death penalty.

Yet, following the arrest of 48 other Christians, violent protests as backlash, and the death of one arrested Christian in jail, Libyan officials have decided to deport the original four missionaries instead.

The missionaries–a South African, an Egyptian, a South Korean, and an American-Swedish man– will return to their home countries following their release, for which no date has been given.

Meanwhile, World Watch Monitor reports that Hassan Al Amin, head of Libya's Human Rights Committee and long-time opponent of former president Muammar Gaddafi, has resigned amid death threats and left the country for London.

CT previously reported on the arrests of the four missionaries. CT also reported when police arrested 50 more Christians less than two weeks later.

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