Sudanese Pregnant Woman Sentenced to Death Refuses to Abandon Christian Faith; John Kerry Urged to Speak Up

Meriam Ibrahim, the Christian pregnant mother in Sudan who has been sentenced to 100 lashes and death, has refused to renounce her faith to save her life, sparking global petitions demanding her release.

"The Sudanese judge who sentenced her to death gave her three chances to recant - to abandon her Christian faith. Meriam refused. 'I am a Christian, and I will remain a Christian,' she said," wrote American Center for Law and Justice Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow in a message on Tuesday.

"She won't abandon her faith. We must not abandon her."

According to Sudan's Public Order Criminal Code, Ibrahim is guilty of both adultery and apostasy, for marrying a Christian man and for turning away from Islam. She is being kept in prison along with her 20-month-old toddler, and has been told that she will be allowed to give birth before she is executed.

The ACLJ noted that since the father, Daniel Wani, is a U.S. citizen, the boy that is being kept in prison with her is also an American.

William Stark, the International Christian Concern Regional Manager for Africa, told The Christian Post last week that the U.S. government needs to get involved and engage in high-level talks on the case.

The ICC also put together a social media campaign for the pregnant woman, encouraging people to call and write letters to Sudanese embassies around the world calling for her release.

"When we first heard this story, we did not want Sudan to feel like they could go through with this case without the world knowing, without the world watching. When people aren't watching and don't take notice, that's when human rights abuses are going to take place," Stark told CP.

On Tuesday, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission President Russell D. Moore sent Secretary of State John Kerry a letter urging him to "personally denounce" Ibrahim's sentencing as "cruel and inhumane."

"The use of state power to enforce belief of any religion – Islam, Christianity or otherwise – is outside the authority of any government. That such an arrangement culminates in the arrest, torture, and execution of an otherwise law-abiding pregnant woman is abhorrent and should be condemned outrightly by the leadership of the United States government," Moore wrote.

Moore reminded Kerry that America's Baptist forbearers were persecuted over religious matters, and argued that faith "cannot be coerced or legislated" and that no person "should be imprisoned or executed for religious belief. "  

The ACLJ petition has been signed by over 123,000 people as of Tuesday afternoon, and it is not the only online campaign fighting for her freedom.

A petition to the government of Sudan for Ibrahim has over 198,000 signatures.

The ICC has also condemned the choice given to Ibrahim between her freedom and her faith.

The persecution watchdog group said that such a choice is one that "no free, dignified human being should ever have to face: succumb to forceful conversion and be spared, or exercise her right to freedom of conscience, to stand strong in her faith and, as consequence, to be put to death for believing in the death, and resurrection, of her Savior."

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