Sudan: Christian Accused of Apostasy Because Dad was Muslim

Thursday, May 1, 2014

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

KHARTOUM, SUDAN (Worthy News)-- A woman with child in Khartoum, Sudan, faces death for leaving Islam, according to Morning Star News.

Meriam Yahia Ibrahim, 27, is married to a South Sudanese Christian, which is forbidden for Muslims in Sudan. According to Islamic law, if a Muslim woman marries a non-Muslim, their marriage is illegal: she is considered to be an adulteress and her children are illegitimate.

And should Ibrahim be convicted of both apostasy and adultery, her whipping and execution will be administered right after giving birth to her second child. Until her trial, Ibrahim has been denied bail, medical care for her and her unborn child and has received no assistance from the U.S. Embassy despite the fact her husband is a U.S. citizen.

"Meriam needs treatment every month to keep the unborn baby still in the mother’s womb, but no medical help has been allowed," said her husband, Daniel Wani. "They are denying my wife her rights to fair treatment and my rights to visit and see my son."

Wani's 20-month-old son, Martin, is in prison with Ibrahim since Sudanese authorities have prohibited the boy's Christian father from caring for him. Wani said Ibrahim has been emotionally abused during her incarceration because Islamic scholars have been trying to get her to return to the religion of her Muslim father, but she has refused the "offer".

In the mean time, Justice Center Sudan is trying to defend Ibrahim based on her constitutional rights to freedom of religion, but the Sudanese constitution also accepts Islamic law as a source of legislation. Further, since the secession of South Sudan in 2011, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has vowed to make Sudan even more Islamist by laws that demand the death penalty for apostasy.

Although no Sudanese has been executed for apostasy since its Criminal Code made it punishable by death, courts in Sudan have still been able to force former Muslims to return to Islam.

At a hearing in April, the court requested more witnesses to testify to Ibrahim's claim that she had never practiced Islam, according to her attorneys.

Anyone wishing to assist Ibrahim can email