Christians Cringe as New Libya Embraces Sharia Law

Christians Cringe: New Libya Embraces Sharia Law

After months of fighting an oppressive dictator, Libyans rejoiced in Moammar Gadhafi's recent death. The death, not just of the man but seemingly of the symbol of oppression, represented change and ultimately freedom.

But has freedom really come? The nation's interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil has announced in a speech that the country would defer from now on to Islamic Sharia law. Several sources report Jalil exclaiming, "Any law that violates Sharia is null and void legally." An immediate change to the way Libya runs was the decision that "the law of divorce and marriage" would be altered, now allowing for polygamy with few guidelines.

Tom Doyle with E3 Partners says this is the tip of the iceberg. It's a steep downward slope from here. "I think young revolutionaries have  been duped again thinking they were getting rid of a terrible dictator but not looking down the line on what the potential was for the next leadership," explains Doyle. "They freed themselves from a dictator, but in the end, it's going to be far worse for them with Sharia law being implemented and hardline Islam taking over." Some rebels have reported outrage at the announcement, but whether or not a decision made by a temporary government is legal hardly makes a difference, says Doyle.

"I don't know if it's constitutional, but even if it's not legal, it probably won't matter in the end." Doyle believes plans to utterly Islamise Libya have been under way for a long time. Under Gadhafi, Doyle points out, the solution to Libya's problems was viewed as converting every Arab to Islam. Christians were under serious duress. Under stricter Sharia law, though, it will get worse - and fast. "My guess is they'll just start using Sharia law as the ultimate authority even over governmental law," observes Doyle. "Once that happens, it becomes just like Iran: a paranoid country with secret police following people, and morality police, causing problems for everyone that lives there."

Iran, however, has one of the fastest-growing churches in the world. Recent history has proven that as hardline Islam has taken over nations like Iran, Syria and Afghanistan, people have grown desperate for hope, peace and truth. Christians will be persecuted, but many Muslims will come to Christ. "As hard and difficult as it is for the church, it ends up growing the church," says Doyle. The Libyan church is prepared to stand their ground no matter what. Pray for believers in Libya to hold onto this courage, to cling to Christ, and to remain vibrant and passionate as they are.  Pray for opportunities to abound in this otherwise daunting new era.

Source: Mission Network News