Meriam Ibrahim 'to campaign' for religious freedom


Date:  2014-09-30

She believed her imprisonment in Sudan was "a test"

By Michael Ireland
Special Reporter, ASSIST News Service

WASHINGTON, DC (ANS) -- Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman who escaped a death sentence imposed for renouncing her faith, says she now wants to campaign for others who face religious persecution.

Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag and her two children in Rome. Mrs Ibrahim's daughter Maya was born in prison in May.
(Courtesy EPA via BBC website).

She told the BBC in the US, where she is seeking asylum, that she hopes to return to Sudan one day.

Her sentencing - by a Sudanese court that did not recognize her Christian faith - sparked outrage around the world earlier this year, the BBC reported.

The BBC explained that Meriam was born to a Muslim father, and was raised as a Christian by her mother, and married a Christian man, the BBC said.

The BBC stated that under Sudan's version of Islamic law, however, her father's religion meant that she too was still technically a Muslim. A court found her guilty of apostasy, or renouncing one's faith.

The BBC said that, sentenced to hang, she gave birth to her daughter while shackled in prison. Under intense international pressure, her conviction was quashed, and she was freed in June.

She told the BBC that she had been threatened by the guards while she was in court.

"The judge told me that I needed to convert to Islam," she said. "And so these warnings made me anticipate I would be sentenced to death," she said.

"It wasn't easy, I can't describe it," she said of her time in prison, adding: "But there are others who are in worse conditions in Sudan than those I was in."

"Sadly, this was all under the guise of the law. So instead of protecting people, the law is harming them."

On Saturday night, Ms Ibrahim received an award from evangelical Christian conservatives in Washington, who see her treatment in Sudan as an assault on religious values.

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