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Libya: Christian migrants seek religious solace in Tripoli

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The Saint Francis Catholic Church in Tripoli is offering something of a sanctuary for Christian migrants as they remain stranded in the war-torn country.

Footage filmed on Saturday shows migrants as they attended mass as well as gathered in the courtyard of Saint Francis church afterwards.

Michey Olusiahna, a migrant from Nigeria who is also a member of the church, told his story of being kidnapped and tortured by Libyan militias who asked for 11,000 euro ransom from his family.

Saint Francis church offers regular teaching of catechism for children and adults, psychosocial support for migrants and hosts offices of several international organisations, through which the community may ask for help.

Father George Bugeja, who caters for the spiritual needs of Catholics in Tripoli, was appointed coadjutor bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of Tripoli by Pope Francis and received his episcopal ordination in 2015.

Tripoli has a Christian Catholic population of 6,000 people, primarily non-Libyans, from migrant backgrounds.

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