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article imagePregnant woman in Sudan sentenced to death for being a Christian

By Marcus Hondro     May 16, 2014 in World
On Thursday a Sudan court sentenced an eight-months pregnant woman to death by hanging because she practices Christianity. Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, 27, has refused to recant her faith despite given the opportunity to in order to save her life.
"I am a Christian," she defiantly told the Khartoum court. "And I will remain a Christian."
Sharia law finds pregnant woman guilty
However, Sharia law, the predominant law in the country, says she is Muslim because her father was Muslim. But he left when Ibrahim was six and her mother raised her a Christian. Sharia law does not recognize that and the court ruled that because Ibrahim practices the Christian faith she is guilty of being an apostate, one who has renounced her faith.
Sentenced to death and 100 lashes
To make this case all the more astonishing she has also been found guilty of adultery. This is because her husband, Daniel Wani, is Christian also. Here Sharia law says that being a Muslim (which of course she does not consider herself to be) she cannot marry anyone but another Muslim, and therefore her marriage is void. As a result, she's been sentenced to 100 lashes for the crime of adultery.
Her lawyer, Mohamed Jar Elnabi, says she is having a difficult pregnancy but officials won't let her move to a hospital. Her 20-month-old son is with her in prison and, her lawyer said, is not handling the situation well.
Further, Ibrahim's husband, Wani, is in a wheelchair and having difficulty without his wife. He says he is praying for her and he can do little else, he was not acknowledged by the court and was forbidden to attend court proceedings. "I'm so frustrated. I don't know what to do," Wani told CNN. "I'm just praying."
Lawyer to appeal Sharia law verdict
Elnabi will appeal but did not say on what grounds. Human rights groups have decried the ruling and, along with the Sudanese embassies of many countries, including the U.S. and Canada, are appealing to the government to respect religious freedom. And some 50 protesters bravely attended outside the sentencing, carrying placards, some of which noted that the constitution allows people to practice religions other than Muslim.
Finally, Elnabi has received a death threat by telephone, telling him to abandon the case or he will be killed. He told media he is scared but that it is a case of principles and he would never quit defending his client.
"I must help someone who is in need," he said. "Even if it will cost me my life."
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