Recent events (updated 30/4/2015)
- The Lord’s deliverance for those under attack by IS
- Some sort of CPM/DMM reaching out in spite of war conditions.
Capital: Tripoli 1.095 million (2009)
Population: 5,613,380 (July 2012 est.)
note: includes 166,510 non-nationals
People groups: Berber and Arab 97%, other 3% (includes Greeks, Maltese, Italians, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Turks, Indians, and Tunisians)
Languages: Arabic (official), Italian, English (all widely understood in the major cities); Berber (Nafusi, Ghadamis, Suknah, Awjilah, Tamasheq)
Religions: Sunni Muslim (official) 97%, other 3%
Other than the majority of Sunni Muslims, there are also small foreign communities of Christians. Coptic Orthodox Christianity, which is the Christian Church of Egypt, is the largest and most historical Christian denomination in Libya. There are over 60,000 Egyptian Copts in Libya, as they comprise over 1% of the population. There are an estimated 40,000 Roman Catholics in Libya who are served by two Bishops, one in Tripoli (serving the Italian community) and one in Benghazi (serving the Maltese community). There is also a small Anglican community, made up mostly of African immigrant workers in Tripoli; it is part of the Anglican Diocese of Egypt.
Libya was until recent times the home of one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world, dating back to at least 300 BC. In 1942 the Italian Fascist authorities set up forced labor camps south of Tripoli for the Jews, including Giado (about 3,000 Jews) and Gharyan, Jeren, and Tigrinna. In Giado some 500 Jews died of weakness, hunger, and disease. In 1942, Jews who were not in the concentration camps were heavily restricted in their economic activity and all men between 18 and 45 years were drafted for forced labor. In August 1942, Jews from Tripolitania were interned in a concentration camp at Sidi Azaz. In the three years after November 1945, more than 140 Jews were murdered, and hundreds more wounded, in a series of pogroms. By 1948, about 38,000 Jews remained in the country. Upon Libya’s independence in 1951, most of the Jewish community emigrated.
Living Conditions: Infant mortality: total: 12.7 deaths/1,000 live births Life Expectancy: total population: 77.83 years (male: 75.5 years, female: 80.27 years (2012 est.) Literacy: total population: 89.2% (male: 95.6% female: 82.7% (2010 est.)
Branches: Executive: chief of state: President Muhammad al-MAQARYAF(since 10 August 2012)
head of government: Prime Minister Ali ZAYDAN (since 14 November 2012)
cabinet: new cabinet sworn in 14 November 2012
Legislative:National General Congress
Judicial: Not applicable
Italy had responsibility for Libya after the fall of the Ottoman empire until the 2nd World War. It was given Independence from the UN 1951 under King Idris who was overthrown in 1969 by Col. Gaddafi. An Islamic dictatorship followed with major human rights abuses recorded.
A civil war and NATO-led military intervention in 2011 resulted in the ousting and death of the country’s former leader, Muammar Gaddafi, and the collapse of his 34-year-old Jamahiriya state. As a result, Libya is currently undergoing political reconstruction, and is governed under an interim constitution drawn up by the National Transitional Council (NTC). Elections to a General National Congress were held on 7 July 2012, and the NTC handed power to the newly elected assembly on 8 August. The assembly has the responsibility of forming a constituent assembly to draft a permanent constitution for Libya, which will then be put to a referendum.