The largest city and capital, Tripoli, is home to 1.7 million of Libya's 6.4 million people. The three traditional parts of the country are Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica. In 2009 Libya had the highest HDI in Africa and the fifth highest GDP (PPP) per capita in Africa, behind Equatorial Guinea, Seychelles, Gabon, and Botswana. Libya has the 10th-largest proven oil reserves of any country in the world and the 17th-highest petroleum production.
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 42-year "First of September Revolution" and 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.
Religion in Libya
By far the predominant religion in Libya is Islam with 97% of the population associating with the faith. The vast majority of Libyan Muslims adhere to Sunni Islam, which provides both a spiritual guide for individuals and a keystone for government policy, but a minority (between 5 and 10%) adhere to Ibadism (a branch of Kharijism), above all in the Jebel Nafusa and the town of Zuwara, west of Tripoli. A Libyan form of Sufism is also common in parts of the country. Mosque in Ghadames, close to the Tunisian and Algerian border. About 97% of Libyans are followers of Islam.
Before the 1930s, the Senussi Movement was the primary Islamic movement in Libya. This was a religious revival adapted to desert life. Its zawaaya (lodges) were found in Tripolitania and Fezzan, but Senussi influence was strongest in Cyrenaica. Rescuing the region from unrest and anarchy, the Senussi movement gave the Cyrenaican tribal people a religious attachment and feelings of unity and purpose.
This Islamic movement, which was eventually destroyed by both Italian invasion and later the Gaddafi government, was very conservative and somewhat different from the Islam that exists in Libya today. Gaddafi asserted that he was a devout Muslim, and his government was taking a role in supporting Islamic institutions and in worldwide proselytising on behalf of Islam.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,…