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Prayer Concern – American’s Pregnant Wife Faces Sudan Death Penalty for Not Renouncing Christian Faith

Christianity Today reports this afternoon that an American’s wife in Sudan has been sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery and death by hanging for apostasy.  She is a Sudanese doctor who will give birth to her second child this month.

Confirmed: American's Pregnant Wife Faces Sudan Death Penalty for Not Renouncing Christian FaithU.S. State Department
U.S. embassy in Khartoum

Given until today to recant her faith by a Sudanese court, Meriam Yahia Ibrahim instead declared she remained a Christian at today’s hearing. The judge at the Public Order Court in El Haj Yousif Khartoum then confirmed her sentence of 100 lashes for adultery and death by hanging for apostasy.

“I am a Christian, and I have never been a Muslim,” Ibrahim told the judge after a Muslim scholar spent 40 minutes persuading her to recant, reports Morning Star News, which first broke the news of Ibrahim’s case. In response, the judge told her, “The court has sentenced you to be hanged till you are dead.”

However, the sentence is to be carried out two years after her second child’s birth later this month, not shortly after the birth as previously reported.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide confirmed the death sentence in the case drawing international attention, calling the ruling a “violation of the Sudanese Constitution and of international conventions to which Sudan is party.”

Middle East Concern reports that Ibrahim’s lawyer is appealing the ruling. Ibrahim’s husband was also not permitted to witness the hearing, and has been denied visitation rights to see his wife and son while they are detained in prison.

Ahead of today’s hearing, Amnesty International condemned Ibrahim’s death sentence and called for her immediate release. According to Manar Idriss, Amnesty International’s Sudan researcher:

The fact that a woman could be sentenced to death for her religious choice, and to flogging for being married to a man of an allegedly different religion is abhorrent and should never be even considered. ‘Adultery’ and ‘apostasy’ are acts which should not be considered crimes at all, let alone meet the international standard of “most serious crimes” in relation to the death penalty. It is flagrant breach of international human rights law.

World Watch Monitor reports more background on Ibrahim’s case, including how her brother first notified authorities about her alleged adultery.

Please hold up this Christian woman in your prayers.

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