Sudan retracts freedom claim for imprisoned Christian

By June 3, 2014
(Photo courtesy World Watch Monitor)

(Photo courtesy World Watch Monitor)

Sudan (MNN) — It’s been quite a roller coaster ride for those who’ve been following the emotionally-charged case of Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman who’s facing the death sentence for apostasy.

A study from the Pew Research Center revealed that Sudan is one of the world’s 1 in 10 countries that still outlaw apostasy, and one of the 1 in 5 countries that still outlaw blasphemy.

Open Doors USA spokesman Jerry Dykstra outlines the backstory in brief: “The government is saying that she was born into a Muslim family and that she was raised in the Islamic faith, so they’re saying that she was not always a Christian and that she did actually turn to Christianity later. That’s the reason that she’s been sentenced to death by hanging.”

Essentially, she was raised as a Christian by her mother, but Sudanese law states a child must follow their father’s religion. Meriam’s father was a Muslim. What’s more, she was convicted of apostasy and adultery for marrying a non-Muslim. Khartoum’s court then annulled her three-year-long marriage to a Christian man with U.S. citizenship and ordered that Ibrahim be given 100 lashes and hanged.

(Photo of Ibrahim's son, in custody with her, courtesy World Watch Monitor/Daniel Wani)

(Photo of Ibrahim’s son, in custody with her, courtesy World Watch Monitor/Daniel Wani)

Her case has brought international outcry for release, and on May 31, Dykstra says, “An official in the Foreign Ministry of Sudan made some statements to the international media that Meriam would be freed on Tuesday.” However, “Later on Sunday, the Foreign Ministry said the report from that official was not true. Many believe that official wanted to diffuse some of the flack that Sudan has been getting from all over the world.”

Lawyers representing Meriam added their doubt over the veracity of the report. Dykstra says their contacts in Sudan reported, “The Foreign Ministry is saying that those claims are not true and that she’s not being released on Tuesday. They’re following the traditional system on this case. The Defense team for Meriam is waiting for a verdict to their appeal process.”

The conviction was internationally condemned, when the then heavily-pregnant woman was sentenced to death for refusing to renounce Christianity, and she was reportedly imprisoned with her 20-month-old son. Pressure increased last week when she gave birth to her daughter, while restrained by shackles, according to Amnesty International.

Meriam has been under pressure to convert from Christianity to Islam with the promise to reduce or eliminate the charges, but there are no confirmed reports regarding her response.

Meanwhile, Dykstra urges you to help keep the pressure building. “We need to pray that there’s a positive resolution to this situation and the Christians out there from all over the world are praying. We also know there’s a Resolution in the Senate that asks for her release and gives her refugee status.”

(Khartoum photo courtesy World Watch Monitor)

(Khartoum photo courtesy World Watch Monitor)

Sudan is ranked #11 on the Open Doors 2014 World Watch List, a list of the most difficult countries in which to be a Christian. Dykstra says the restrictions on religious freedom make Gospel work tricky. “Christians fair very poorly in this country. There’s a great amount of pressure on Christians and it’s growing.”

The World Watch List is published annually by Open Doors International, a charity that supports Christians who live under pressure because of their faith.

13 Comments

  • Praying that she will be able to remain strong, that she will feel the Holy Spirit’s presence, and be released. God’s blessings on her and her family.

  • Praise God there is international protest. I pray God will be glorified in Miriam’s strong stance and her soon release and I pray for her comfort by the Holy Spirit.

  • I pray that the Holy Spirit will come upon the appelate judge(s) to free Meriam, unless it would be better for her to becme a marytr.

  • Praise God. May the international protest
    increase untill she is released.

  • Katrina says:

    God makes All things good. He will make this good, she must stay strong

  • Zona Novak says:

    Praying This beautiful Christian lady is released. God Please answer our prayers. She is your child. Please put it in the hearts of the judges to release Meriam. God you know what is best. Not our Will but Yours.
    I your precious son’s name I pray. Amen

  • We pray that all things will be blessed
    by God and she will be returned to her
    to her family. I also pray for the judges
    to make the right decision.

    Amen.

  • Marge Butler says:

    She is constantly on my mind and heart. Praying for her soon release along with her children.

  • Why are we not offering immediate citizenship to this woman? She is married to an American citizen and the mother of two. Seriously? Our government needs to STEP UP. Pray for this family.

  • Karen says:

    Where there is one in prayer God will answer. Praying God will put his protective armor around this beautiful Christian woman/mother. God knows what the outcome will be. May God’s will be done and may God be glorified so others may see the true meaning of Christ’s love. May she keep strong in her faith and stay encouraged knowing others all over the nations are praying for her release.

    Our government should do something to get her released. We released a soldier and made a “deal” to do so. This is a mother/daughter/wife. God bring her home safely, I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen

  • Monina says:

    Praying for Merriam and her son and daughter cover them with Jesus’ Precious Blood, keep them strong in Faith. We pray ease of pain,
    We pray without ceasing, merciful God, gracious God, nothing is impossible, in Jesus Blessed Name, deliver them Lord, I pray
    Jesus. Jesus Jesus I call out with her AMEN

  • JPatterson says:

    Praying that Miriam and her husband will be upheld by the strength of the Lord and the power of His might, and that God will be glorified in and through their lives. Also that the Lord will soften the hearts of the Sudanese officials involved in her case and give her favor that comes from Him. Prayers for her attorneys ..that they will have the Lord’s Wisdom and His words when they stand in her behalf before the court to petition for an appeal.

  • 劉備 says:

    Wonderful website, thank You !!

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