Aided by the Italian government, Meriam Ibrahim, her husband, and two young children successfully exited Sudan this week.
“I thank God for Meriam Ibrahim and her family’s safe journey out of Sudan,” said Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB. “May the Lord richly bless them as they start a new chapter in their lives. And may He bless those in the world who continue to endure hardships and persecution because of their faith in Him. Let us not forget them!”
Mrs. Ibrahim had been sentenced to death by hanging because she refused to recant her Christian faith, and she was further ordered to receive 100 lashes for “adultery” because the Sudanese authorities would not recognize her marriage to a Christian man, Daniel Wani, who is an American citizen. She, her 20-month-old son, and infant daughter, who was born in prison, were incarcerated by the Sudanese government until their release last month. Even then they were not allowed to leave Sudan, and they took refuge in the U.S. Embassy for weeks because of the ongoing danger to Mrs. Ibrahim’s life as long as she remained there.
Dr. Johnson sent a letter earlier this year to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urging the United States to intervene on Mrs. Ibrahim’s behalf.
“We find it unconscionable and intolerable that the Sudanese government would violate its own law and international covenants by treating any individual with such enmity and abuse because of her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,” wrote Dr. Johnson. “We urge that the United States act expeditiously in defense of Mrs. Ibrahim, Mr. Wani, and their little ones.”
Mrs. Ibrahim and her family arrived in Rome on Thursday. They were greeted by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at the airport and by Pope Francis in the Vatican. They expect to head to the United States in the days ahead.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: July 25, 2014