News / Africa

Sudanese Woman Gets Death Sentence for Converting to Christianity

FILE - Christian worshipers pray during Christmas mass at a Church in Khartoum, Sudan, Dec. 25, 2013.
FILE - Christian worshipers pray during Christmas mass at a Church in Khartoum, Sudan, Dec. 25, 2013.
VOA News
A court in Sudan has sentenced a pregnant woman to death for refusing to renounce her Christian faith.

Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, 27, who is already the mother to a 20-month-old son, was convicted of apostasy on Sunday and given four days to abandon her faith.

Judge Abbas al-Khalifa handed down the death sentence Thursday in Khartoum after Ibrahim told the court "I am a Christian."  

Ibrahim, who was born to a Christian mother and a Muslim father, was raised Christian after the father left the family.  However, under Sudanese law, children of Muslim fathers are considered Muslim.


Amnesty International quickly condemned the court's ruling, calling it "abhorrent" and a flagrant breach of international human rights law.  The rights group called for Ibrahim's immediate and unconditional release.

The judge Thursday also sentenced Ibrahim to 100 lashes on charges of adultery.  Under Sudanese law, marriage between Muslims and non-Muslims is not permitted, and any such union is considered adultery.

Earlier this week, the U.S., British, Canadian and Dutch embassies expressed "deep concern" about the case, and called on Sudan's government to respect the right to religious freedom.

Sudan's 2005 constitution guarantees the right to freedom of worship.  In practice, the government enforces a form of Islamic law.

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Comments page of 2
by: Anonymous
May 25, 2014 1:01 PM
US Citizens, please sign this petition.

demand the release of pregnant mother Mariam Ibrahim, and her 20 month old son, Martin, a United States citizen in Sudan
Meriam Ibrahim, a pregnant mother, and her 20 month old son, Martin, are currently in prison in Sudan. Meriam was condemned to death for the crime of apostasy for not renouncing her Orthodox Christian faith, will receive 150 lashes immediately after giving birth because she is a Christian, for marrying a Muslim man, which is considered adultery in Sudan. After her child is weaned, she will be hanged and beaten with whips until she dies. She endures beatings in prison even though she's 9 months pregnant. Dr. Daniel Wani, is an American citizen and Martin is his son, as is the child Meriam is carrying. He's tried to get a US visa for Miriam, but by the time the paperwork is evaluated, she will already be dead. Action needs to be taken immediately to save the life of Miriam, and her family.

by: Zack from: Canada
May 19, 2014 5:24 AM
Please read, sign, and share this petition ASAP.

by: Don Inodessa
May 16, 2014 5:57 AM
Sharia law...coming to a city near you!

by: citizen of the world from: earth
May 16, 2014 3:04 AM
Dear The so called powerful government.. She seems innocent. She should be saved. She seems helpless...

by: Jonathan Benda from: Liberia
May 15, 2014 4:39 PM
where is human right, the right to protect religious believe. She is above 18 for heaven sake let her have freedom, let the UN COUNCIL help, she need

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
May 15, 2014 2:18 PM
This is state terrorism. The world over people see reason to abandon a religion that does not satisfy their yearning for the truth and they are barred from changing at the cost of their lives. From Saudi Arabia to Iran, from Pakistan to Indonesia, from Libya to Algeria, just anywhere the religion poses a stranglehold on population, the story is the same.

Crime against humanity is committed in these atrocious states on daily basis and what we hear from the UN, USA, EU, NATO, Human Rights of all leanings or any other supposedly human society is same old refrain: "deeply concerned". If the death of a woman could cause the second world war, then this sentence is worse than what led to the last world war.

Condemning it is not enough, but preventing the mad regime in Khartoum from carrying it out and at the same time stationing a UN army to ensure that the abhorrent leadership is changed will be a good starting point to show those still living in the Stone Age the dawn of the 21st century.

by: Odinakachi Otuokere from: Nigeria
May 15, 2014 1:47 PM
Where is the peace the muslims claim they preach? Can any of them give life? I call on the international bodies rise, condem and stop this barberic act in Sudan.

by: Jacob from: India
May 15, 2014 1:04 PM
The sad fact is that laws like this go back to the infancy of Islam and were crucial to its success in conquering and subduing much of the world. It would be very hard for them to renounce what has been so successful. I overheard a fellow who once said that 70% of the Muslims in Lebanon would convert to Christianity if it were not for laws like these.

by: Anonymous
May 15, 2014 11:28 AM
Its the Sudanese law and an Islamic law for God sake. Islam is never for freedom, Peace or growth of society. I will say Islam is on a steady decline. This is a Century of reason. African who embrace Islam will live to suffer. I the best way maybe for more women to convert to Christianity and some to reconvert to their africanness

by: roberto carlos campos from: formosa argentina
May 15, 2014 10:15 AM
I beg all the civilized countries in the world to do their best and to exert their utmost pressure on the government of Sudan to stop this barbarian execution that has no legal base at all, she is not a criminal, a serial killer a rapist and didn't kill a president. Please USA, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and all the other civilized countries in the world please stop it !!! god bless you all. Robt
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