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 and sentenced to death. On 15 May Meriam confirmed to a court that she remains faithful to Christ.
On 27 May she gave birth to a daughter, Maya, in the prison’s medical centre.
The Sudanese government has responded to the international attention being drawn to this case. The government is claiming that Meriam is using an assumed name, and that both her parents were Sudanese Muslims. This contradicts Meriam’s claim that she was raised by a Christian mother (who was from Ethiopia) after her father, who was a Muslim, left the home when she was six years old. Consequently, Meriam denies apostasy on the grounds that she was not raised as a Muslim, nor was she ever a practising Muslim.
A lady who claimed to be Meriam’s mother and a man who claimed to be her brother attended the court hearings. However, Meriam did not recognise either of them, and they contradicted each other concerning Meriam’s father and could not answer simple questions relating to Meriam’s upbringing, leaving their claims and statements open to question.
The lawyer acting for Meriam has submitted an appeal against the convictions and sentences. Meriam is married to Daniel, a Christian of South Sudanese origin. The couple have a young son, Martin, who is with Meriam in prison. The government does not recognise the couple’s marriage, because a woman who is considered a Muslim cannot marry a Christian. Hence the adultery charge.
Daniel was allowed one visit to Meriam and their son and new-born daughter in prison. However, the next time he tried to visit he was turned away by prison officers.
Sources: Middle East Concern
- Thank the Lord for Meriam’s faithfulness to Him, pray Meriam, Daniel, Martin and Maya will know the peace, presence and protection of Jesus.
- Pray for the lawyer and others supporting Meriam, that they will know the Spirit’s guiding wisdom. Pray all charges will be dropped, the death sentence will be rescinded, Meriam will be released and the family reunited.
- Pray the Lord will use Meriam’s faithful witness as a witness to His Gospel, to strengthen the faith of believers and grow His church in Sudan.