Libya is a country in north Africa that is mostly Sahara desert with

only a coastal Mediterranean strip and 2% arable land.

As a result of the 2011 Civil war, there are currently two entities

claiming to be the official government.  They are: The Tripoli-based

regime of Muammar Gaddafi, which controls the western half and calls the

country the “Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya” and,

the Benghazi-Based Transitional National Council which controls most of

the eastern half and calls the country the “Libyan Republic”.

Oil accounts for 95% of export income, but little of this wealth

trickles down to the masses.




This fourth largest country in Africa is home to 6.5 million people.

Population data is difficult since undocumented foreign migrants may be

as much as 25% of Libya’s population.  All figures are estimates:

Arab and related 95.9% (Arab 76.4%, Berber 5.8%, Bedouin 13.7%)

Others 4.1%

The official language is Arabic.




Sunni Islam is the state religion and the Gaddafi government has

endorsed a moderate form of Islam.  Evangelism of Libyan citizens is

illegal.  All faiths are free to worship at home, but meetings of more

than six people is illegal.  These laws are not often enforced.

All figures are approximations:

97.2% Muslim, 2.6% Christian, 0.3% Non-religious, 0.03% Buddhist, 0.01%

Hindu.  Or those in the Christian category:

1.19% Orthodox (Coptic and Greek), 1.22% Catholic, 0.14% Protestant,

0.01% Independent.

Evangelicals represent 0.3% and Charismatics 0.2%, and consist almost

exclusively to exiled people living in or in transit through Libya.


Donna Siemens


Operation World, Jason Mandryk. Colorado Springs: Biblica Publishing, 2010.

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