Sudanese Christian Mother Freed, Then Detained Again at Airport

Meriam IbrahimEarlier this week, NRB and many others rejoiced at news that Meriam Ibrahim and her two young children had been released from prison in Sudan.  Mrs. Ibrahim, wife of an American citizen, had been sentenced to death for her Christian faith.  However, the news soon changed as reports emerged that she had been arrested again by agents of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service after a confrontation at the Khartoum airport.  Sudan claims that Mrs. Ibrahim had attempted to leave the country with illegal documents. 

Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB, stated this week, “It is outrageous that [Mrs. Ibrahim] or anyone else should be so persecuted for her faith in Christ.  I pray that the United States will take steps to reunite her family and ensure their safety.”

Mrs. Ibrahim was 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 Monday. 

The family is in danger while remaining in Sudan.  A man claiming to be Mrs. Ibrahim’s brother told CNN he was angered that the Sudanese court allowed her to be released. "The law has failed to uphold our rights,” he said. “This is now an issue of honor. The Christians have tarnished our honor, and we will know how to avenge it."

Dr. Johnson sent a letter last month 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.”

Dr. Johnson’s full letter to Secretary Kerry is available online here.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: June 27, 2014