Monday, June 23, 2014

Meriam Ibrahim freed but faces death threats from family

First, the good news:
Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death for refusing to recant her faith, will soon be set free, according to reports from Sudan’s official news agency.

SUNA said the Court of Cassation reversed Ibrahim’s death sentence this morning and ordered her released.

Ibrahim’s Christian mother raised her alone after her father, a Muslim, abandoned the family. But under Sudanese law, children take on their father’s religion, and Muslims are forbidden from marrying Christians. Ibrahim's husband, Daniel Wani, is a South Sudanese Christian and a naturalized U.S. citizen.

Earlier this year, Ibrahim’s half-brother and half-sister filed a complaint against her for apostasy. She was eight months pregnant when she was arrested. Her lawyers claimed her siblings hoped to take over her successful business, a general store in a shopping mall, after her execution. When Ibrahim refused to renounce her faith during her final hearing on May 15, the judge sentenced her to death and 100 lashes for “adultery.”

Ibrahim, 27, gave birth to a baby girl last month in prison. Her 18-month-old son also is in jail with her. Authorities planned to carry out her sentence of lashes as soon as she recovered from the birth. The judge gave her two years to wean the child before she would face execution.

Ibrahim’s plight stirred outrage in the United States, although U.S. officials were hesitant to acknowledge her children’s rights as U.S. citizens. Supporters held a rally for Ibrahim outside the White House on June 12, a week after Sudan’s foreign minister said during a trip to Germany that he expected her to be released. Speakers at the conservative Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference this weekend held Ibrahim up as an example of Christian persecution around the world.
But her life remains in jeopardy:
UPDATE (11 a.m. EDT): According to the BBC, Meriam Ibrahim's lawyers confirmed she has been freed from jail. But her life may still be in jeopardy.

Ibrahim's family members, who filed the complaint against her in the first place, have threatened to carry out the death sentence commuted by the court this morning.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports Ibrahim's lawyers also have received death threats and extremist groups attempted to pressure the court to carry out her sentence.
Please continue to pray!