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Coptic Church calls on Egyptians in Libya to return home

More than 45,000 Egyptians have fled Libya since mid-February due to militant violence

Aswat Masriya , Ahram Online , Tuesday 24 Mar 2015
A member of the Coptic Orthodox clergy stands beside posters showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians kidnapped in Libya, during a prayer service at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City February 18, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)

The crises council of the Holy Complex of the Coptic Orthodox Church has called upon Egyptians working in Libya to return home as soon as possible to protect their lives, Aswat Masriya reported.

In a statement on Monday, the council stated that “Egypt is capable of taking care of its citizens, protecting them and offering a decent life for them.”

It also said that the statement stems from the church’s patriotic role and responsibility, and upon directions from Pope Tawadros II.

Islamic State militants beheaded 20 Coptic Egyptians in Libya in February, after which Egypt launched Libyan-coordinated airstrikes against the group.

More than 45,000 Egyptians have fled Libya since last month’s beheadings.

No official numbers exist for the  number of Egyptians working in Libya.

The International Organisation for Migration estimated that 330,000 to 1.5 million Egyptians worked in Libya until Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011, sending between an estimated $19.5 and 33 million dollars back to Egypt in remittances.


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