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A Christian mother pregnant with her second child has been formally convicted of adultery and apostasy, punishable by 100 lashes and death respectively.

Meriam Yahia Ibrahim, a believer from a Muslim background, married to a Christian man of South Sudan, was arrested on 17 February and on 4 March was charged with adultery and apostasy. The government does not recognise the couple’s marriage, hence the adultery charge. The son is with his mother in prison because the authorities regard him as a ‘Muslim’ and will not allow him to be raised by his father who is a Christian.

Ibrahim appeared in court on 11 May, where she was convicted of apostasy and sentenced to death. There is no known precedent for such a verdict and sentence being issued by a Sudanese court against a follower of Jesus in recent times.

Justice Center Sudan (JCS), a local human rights organisation providing Ibrahim legal defence, has expressed its intent to submit an appeal on her behalf. According to the JCS legal team, Ibrahim has been pressured by Sudanese officials and religious authorities to convert from Christianity to Islam, allegedly rendering promises to reduce, if not eliminate, the charges against her for doing so.

Experts anticipate the sentences against Ibrahim will be carried out following the birth of her unborn child, which is expected to take place next month. According to JCS, Ibrahim has suffered beatings during her imprisonment and has been denied medical treatment.

Sources: Middle East Concern, International Christian Concern

Prayer Points

  • Pray for the Legal team representing Meriam; pray the Lord will intervene so that all charges will be dropped and the family reunited.
  • Ask the Lord for His protection to be upon Meriam, her husband, their son and unborn child. Pray the family will not despair but have the courage to trust in the Lord.
  • Pray the Lord will reveal Himself to many in Sudan and raise up leaders who will love mercy, act justly and walk humbly with the Lord.