A pregnant Christian woman from Sudan who has vowed to never renounce her faith in Christ even after being sentenced to death for it, gave birth to a baby girl in prison on Tuesday.
Meriam Ibrahim, 27, who has been shackled in jail for the last four months, gave birth five days early in the hospital wing at the Omdurman Federal Women's Prison in North, Khartoum, according to a Daily Mail report.
"This is some good news in what has been a terrible ordeal for Meriam. I am planning to visit her with her husband Daniel later today. I think they are going to call the baby Maya," her lawyer, Mohaned Mustafa Elnour, told the Daily Mail.
Ibrahim was sentenced to death by hanging after she was found guilty of converting from Islam to Christianity and marrying Daniel Wani, a U.S. citizen who currently resides in Manchester, New Hampshire. The birth of her baby now sets in motion a two year time frame for her to wean the baby to allow for her execution. She is also expected to be lashed 100 times before she is executed for her apostasy.
An Islamic Sharia Judge says Ibrahim can be spared the gallows if she publicly renounces her faith and become a Muslim once again. Despite the grim reality facing her, however, Ibrahim has remained steadfast in her faith, telling her husband in a recent conversation during a prison visit that she would rather die than renounce Christ.
"If they want to execute me then they should go ahead and do it because I'm not going to change my faith," she said.
"I refuse to change. I am not giving up Christianity just so that I can live. I know I could stay alive by becoming a Muslim and I would be able to look after our family, but I need to be true to myself," she said.
Ibrahim's husband, Daniel, praised the strength of his wife and said she is stronger than he is because she didn't even "flinch" when she was sentenced to death.
"My wife is very, very strong. She is stronger than me. When they sentenced her to death I broke down and tears were streaming down my eyes. Our lawyers were passing me tissues. But she stayed strong. She did not flinch when she was sentenced. It was amazing to see, particularly because she is the one facing the death penalty," he explained.
Ibrahim's sentence has been rebuked by politicians and advocates from around the world and an Amnesty International petition launched last week calling for her release has been signed by more than 660,000 supporters.