While mothers in the United States were being honored and celebrated with gifts, a Christian pregnant mother living in Sudan was sentenced on Mother's Day to 100 lashes and death for adultery and apostasy, according to The Christian Post on Monday, the day after Mother's Day. The death is to take place after the birth of her second child.
International Christian Concern Regional Manager William Stark said, "We grieve today at the sentencing to death of a mother, pregnant with her second child, for the expression of her faith and legal marriage to a practicing Christian."
Meriam Yahia Ibrahim, 27, received the sentencing on Sunday when she appeared before El Haj Yousif Public Order Court in Khartoum, Sudan. Ibrahim was raised as an Orthodox Christian, is a graduate of Khartoum University and was a practicing medical doctor. Her punishment comes about because she married a South Sudanese Christian, Daniel Wani. Since she was born in Sudan, a heavily Islamic country, she is officially considered a Muslim. That makes her marriage to a non-Muslim illegal in Sudan's court system.
The pregnant woman has been kept at the Omdurman Federal Women's Prison with her 20-month-old son since Feb. 17, separate from her husband. Ibrahim's death sentence is expected to be carried out following the birth of her second child.
After South Sudan gained independence in 2011, Christian aid agencies have been helping Christians flee persecution at the hands of the Islamic government in Sudan. About 8,000 Christians have been helped by the Barnabas Fund since it was organized in 2013. However, many other Christians remain stranded in North Sudan that is strongly anti-Christian. Women are arrested for breaching the law on dress and can then be whipped and imprisoned. A number of Christian churches have been attacked as well.
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom Annual Report states that Sudan imposes amputations and floggings for crimes and acts of "indecency" and "immorality" and arresting Christians for proselytizing.