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.

Condemnation

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
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by: USA Citizen from: Florida
May 15, 2014 9:33 AM
These neanderthals need to be brought into the 21st century. The USA should impose the harshest restrictions possible with Sudan. Anyone considering visiting the Sudan or doing business there should not do so until these officials are brought to justice in an international court of law.

by: kandia cane from: jamaica
May 15, 2014 9:15 AM
Why would anyone in their rightful mind want to take the life of a 27yr old woman I mean come on just because she marry a Christian and choose to follow her own path that's just brutality we need human rights and the world ambassadors on the case!!!! Kmt

by: ali baba from: new york
May 15, 2014 8:49 AM
Expressing deep concern is not enough to solve the problem . we should have an effective sanction to force the Sudanese to get out of business. these Sudanese Gov. has caused two civil war and the west action is expressing deep concern. we should arrest the president of that country and send him to international court to face the charges against him
In Response

by: Elle from: USA
May 16, 2014 12:32 PM
My heart breaks for all Christians who are forced to live under Islam's harsh law. I would love to send a small portion of our military might to swoop in and deliver the innocents to safer shores. I do, however, grow wearied of the broad condemnation the US receives any time we try to "police" the world. What the world does not and can not understand is that, beside a few corrupt politicians or business men, our people and our military is made up of people of simple faith.

We are taught from an early age to "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." We want rush in and save this lady but we are weary of being accused of thinking that we try to dominate the rest of the world. Do you understand?
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