The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIS/IS) is claiming responsibility for kidnapping three African Christians in eastern Libya. According to reports, the Islamic terror group published the three men’s passport pictures as evidence of the kidnapping. Reports were unclear about why the three men, who come from Egypt, Ghana, and Nigeria, were in Libya.
A resident who spoke to the media on the condition of anonymity said that the kidnappings occurred in an ISIS stronghold called Noufliyah. A representative from the internationally recognized moderate Libyan government’s military also confirmed the location of the kidnappings.
In addition to the kidnappings, ISIS’s operatives in Libya also brutally crucified a man accused of spying for Libya Dawn, an anti-ISIS group attempting to take back control of the country.
The Islamists tied the alleged spy to steel beams and filmed him dying. They later posted video of the vicious execution on social media.
ISIS has gained a foothold in Libya by exploiting the violence, chaos, and civil war plaguing the country since the Arab Spring and the United States airstrikes that helped depose Muammar Gaddafi, the former dictator.
Elsewhere in the Islamic World, watchdog groups have alleged that ISIS has kidnapped several Christian clergymen, most recently Father Tony Boutros.
Earlier this year, ISIS militants kidnapped 120 schoolchildren in Mosul, Iraq. They were loaded onto military vehicles and shipped off, likely to ISIS camps elsewhere in their “Caliphate.”
“Today we are dismayed to see how in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world many of our brothers and sisters are persecuted, tortured and killed for their faith in Jesus,” Pope Francis said earlier this month.
In that sermon, the Pope also accused ISIS a pursuing “a form of genocide” against devout Christians throughout the Middle East.
“In this third world war, waged piecemeal, which we are now experiencing, a form of genocide is taking place, and it must end,” the Pope said.
“Minority communities feel especially vulnerable to abduction, including kidnappings for ransom,” Christian rights group Middle East Concern said about the rising numbers of abductions.