"Islamic extremists threatened us to leave, not the Libyan people, who instead protected us by coming to visit every day until our departure", Sister Celeste Biasolo, former superior of the convent of the Holy Family of Spoleto in Derna tells AsiaNews.
In October she was forced to leave Libya with four other sisters,
because of the spread of Islamic extremists in Cyrenaica.
described by the religious is also confirmed by Msgr. Martinelli,
Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli, who recently pointed out that two other
religious communities will leave Cyrenaica after having been threatened
by Islamists: the Franciscan Sisters of the Infant Jesus of Barce and
the Ursuline Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Beida.
Sister Celeste Biasolo describes a climate of fear in Cyrenaica,
which is especially affecting the Libyan people: "The same Muslim
population is being terrorized by this situation. The people of Derna
miss us and often contact us imploring us to come back.
more than 100 families called to our monastery in Spoleto with greetings
"In Cyrenaica - she explains - the Islamists do not want to
attack the Church as such, but the West, and unfortunately we are seen
as foreigners. This is because the country is without a government and
can not even guarantee the security of its citizens".
The presence of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Spoleto in Libya
dates back to 1921.
The founder of the Institute, Blessed Peter Bonilli,
wanted to open a mission in Cyrenaica, in the city of Derna. Sister
Celeste notes that until their departure, the mission of the religious
and the Church in Libya has focused primarily on health care and care
for the elderly.
"In these years - she says - we have tried to show joy
of his own life of Christians and the Gospel through our presence and
According to the religious this struck the Muslim
population who continue to consider the sisters a fundamental part of