A pregnant Sudanese woman was this week sentenced to death for refusing to denounce her Christian faith plus an additional 100 lashes for marrying a Christian.
According to the Sharia court in Khartoum, 27-year old Meriam Yehya Ibrahim committed ‘apostasy’ after she refused their request to denounce Christianity. The 100 lashes sentence was because she ‘committed adultery’ by marrying a Christian. Under Sharia law, marriage is only recognized between a Muslim man and a Muslim woman.
Ibrahim, who was originally on trial for marrying a Christian from South Sudan, was given till Thursday to renounce her faith. When Thursday came, the sheikh told the court ‘how dangerous a crime like this is to Islam and the Islamic community,’ according to her lawyer.
That was when she shot back, ‘I am a Christian and I will remain a Christian.’
This infuriated the court, who then added the apostasy charge and sentenced her to death plus the lashes. The sentence will be carried out two years after Ibrahim, who is currently 8 months pregnant, gives birth.
‘I’m so frustrated. I don’t know what to do,’ her husband Daniel Wani told CNN on Thursday. ‘I’m just praying.’
This case has generated world attention, with many rights groups campaigning for her immediate release, saying that Sudan has violated the woman’s rights to choose her religion.
For now, Ibrahim remains in prison with her 20-month old son, and her husband has been barred from visiting her or taking care of the baby because of his Christian faith. Her legal team will appeal the verdict.