Meriam Ibrahim Challenges Death Sentence; States She Was Raised as a Christian

Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese mother sentenced to death for apostasy, is challenging the court's ruling by claiming that there have been procedural errors in her case. She has also explained that she was raised as a Christian, and so did not convert from Islam.

Ibrahim's lawyer, Eman Abdul-Rahim, indicated that the imprisoned mother will be challenging the court, according to The Associated Press.

Ibrahim was sentenced to 100 lashes and death for converting from Islam and marrying a Christian man, which goes against the country's strict Islamic laws that dictate children must follow their father's religion. The mother explained, however, that her Muslim father left when she was young, and so she was raised as an Orthodox Christian by her Ethiopian mother.

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The Christian woman is in jail currently with her 18-month-old son and newborn baby, while her husband, Daniel Wani, is petitioning for her release. The American Center for Law and Justice and other organizations have pointed out that since Wani is an American citizen, Ibrahim's children are also Americans – and therefore should not be kept in a foreign prison.

Although Ibrahim was given three days to recant her faith to save her life, she refused to do so.

Russell D. Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, called her a "true daughter of Sarah" for the courage and conviction she has displayed.

"For her, her freedom, even her life, aren't worth tossing aside her allegiance to the Lord Christ," Moore highlighted. "It's not just that Mariam is displaying the sort of fearless faith Peter commends. It's also that she's displaying the sort of fearless faith Peter himself lacked, at least at first."

Several online petitions have been set up calling for her release, with one on the official White House website urging President Barack Obama to get involved.

"We strongly urge the administration to take action in the case of Dr. Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese mother who with her toddler and newborn baby (who pending the proper documentation are American citizens) is languishing inside a prison in Khartoum," the petition started on May 28 reads.

"We urge you to pressure the Sudanese government to release Meriam and her children so she can escape execution and possible death of her children and be rejoined with her husband in the U.S. Please grant her expedited safe haven in the U.S., where she could seek asylum."

As of Friday morning, the petition has close to 40,000 signatures but needs 100,000 by June 27 to prompt an official response from the Obama administration.

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