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News / Thoughts

Finally Free – Meriam update!

July 29, 2014

After a month of wrangling, political pressure and prayer, Meriam has finally been allowed to leave Sudan and faces a new life outside of the country. Here’s the remarkable story of the pregnant doctor who was sentenced to death for refusing to deny Jesus…

Update 24 July:

Praise God that Meriam Ibrahim and her family have been able to leave Sudan! They flew to Italy accompanied by Italian minister Lapo Pistelli. He posted a picture with them on his facebook account along with the caption ‘mission accomplished’. Please continue to pray for Meriam and her family as they consider their future and recover from the events of recent months. Please also continue to pray for Sudan, which is number 11 on our World Watch List.

Update 22 July:

The Sudan Tribune has reported that Meriam’s family have now brought another lawsuit against her, this time to try to annul her marriage to Daniel Wani. This is a continued attempt to keep her from leaving Sudan, and an annulment of Wani and Ibrahim’s marriage would also mean their children would not be legally recognized as Wani’s children.

Update 18 July:

Praise God that Meriam’s family have dropped their lawsuit against her! There is currently no news on the progress of the travel papers that would allow her and her family to leave Sudan. Please continue to pray for God to sustain Meriam and her family and to open the way for them to travel to the USA.

Update 11 July:

Meriam Ibrahim is facing further legal action from her half-brother who is seeking to prove that Meriam is a family member through DNA testing. He has previously stated that he wants Meriam to be executed. Based on a request by him, the Sudanese government have begun proceedings to issue a travel ban against Meriam and her two children. The Khartoum police are also refusing to drop the charges of forging identification documents against her until this new court case is completed. Meriam and her family are continuing to stay in the US embassy in Khartoum.

It was previously reported that Meriam’s daughter Maya who was born in prison may be unable to walk due to the conditions of her birth. However, doctors now believe that this is not the case. An ultrasound will be performed on Maya in the coming weeks to confirm that she will be able to walk and develop normally.

Update 27 June:

According to the latest reports, Meriam Ibrahim has been released from police custody a second time, and is currently with her family in the US embassy in Khartoum. Her lawyer, Elsherif Ali, says she has been accused by Sudan’s National Security and Intelligence Authority of forging official documents. The emergency travel documents were issued by South Sudan’s embassy in Khartoum, which insists that the travel documents are genuine. She was released from detention on the condition that she remains in Sudan.

Update 24 June:

Less than 24 hours after her release from death row, Meriam Ibrahim has been ‘re-arrested’ at Khartoum airport, along with her family, several sources have reported. About 40 security agents detained Ms Ibrahim, along with her husband Daniel Wani and two children, who were intending to leave for the US.

Tina Ramirez, president of Hardwired Inc., a nonprofit organisation that trains young people to advocate for freedom of conscience and belief, told World Watch Monitor, “The (US) State Dept said that they were held reportedly for not having the proper documentation to leave the country. State and the embassy are working on it to get her on a plane to South Sudan where they will complete the paperwork for the family to travel to the US.”

  • Please pray that the process to get proper documentation goes smoothly and happens quickly…

Original story

Yesterday we received some brilliant news – Meriam, the Sudanese woman sentenced to death for her faith, has been released!

The Sudanese State News Agency has reported that an appeal court overturned the death sentence given to Meriam and she has now been freed from jail. The authorities have claimed this was an independent decision, but most believe that the amount of attention and public pressure the case received played a big role in the turnaround.

Earlier this year Meriam was imprisoned and sentenced with the death penalty for refusing to renounce her Christian faith. Despite being brought up as an Orthodox Christian, the authorities considered her to be a Muslim like her father.

The sentencing caused a massive media outcry around the world, and politicians including David Cameron condemned the actions of the Sudanese government and called for Meriam’s release. Meriam, along with her son Martin, spent over 140 days in prison. During her time there she gave birth to a baby daughter whilst shackled to her cell floor.

Last month we were over the moon after hearing news that Meriam would be released. Sadly it turned out that this wasn’t the case, but this time the reports being received come from trustworthy sources and we are hopeful for her freedom.

This story is a massive encouragement that when we do stand up for members of the persecuted church we can make a life-changing difference and it’s been amazing to see the response Meriam’s case has generated. It’s exciting that so many people have been compelled to protest on her behalf, regardless of beliefs.

But we mustn’t forget that there are thousands of Christians around the world still suffering for their faith. Unlike Meriam, they will never gain the attention of the world’s media.

We need to pray that Meriam’s story creates a greater awareness of the unjust treatment these Christians face. Let’s not stop now that Meriam is free, but let’s continue to make a big noise for persecuted Christians worldwide.

Where is Sudan?

What to pray for

  • Thank God for the overturning of the unjust decisions made by the Sudanese government
  • Ask for protection of Meriam and her family as she begins a new life of freedom
  • Pray for an opening of eyes by many to the suffering of the church worldwide

We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.