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Meriam Ibrahim arrives in Italy, is greeted by Pope Francis

Pope Francis
Pope Francis
Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images

According to a Thursday story on NBC News, Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who was persecuted for her Christian faith and had been condemned to death under that country’s Sharia law, has been allowed to flee that country and flew to Italy. She received an audience with Pope Francis, who personally blessed her for adhering to her Christian faith. She intends to fly to the United States to start a new life with her husband and two children, one of which was born when she was in prison, shackled to a wall.

Ibrahim had been born to a Muslim father, who had abandoned her, and was thus raised by her Greek Orthodox mother who raised her as a Christian. She met and married Daniel Wani, an American citizen, also a Christian, and had one child by him. That is where her troubles began.

The Muslim members of her family claimed that she had converted from Islam to Christianity, a violation of Sudanese law. She was duly arrested, tried, and convicted to death by handing and 100 lashes. Since she was pregnant with her second child at the time, Ibrahim’ sentence was deferred to two years after she gave birth to give her a chance to nurse and wean her child. She was forced to bring her 20 month first son with her into prison where they lived under the most appalling conditions.

Ibrahim’s case outraged much of the world for its odor of barbarity. The United States State Department conducted quiet diplomacy to get her freed. She was actually released from prison at one point, but was rearrested at the airport when she tried to flee Sudan on the charge that her travel documents were faked. Eventually she was released a second time and was given sanctuary at the American embassy with her two children.

How Ibrahim came to be allowed to fly to Italy and what was the involvement of the Italian government and the Catholic Church in the matter has yet to be revealed, noted Hot Air. The Obama administration had undergone some criticism for not doing more publically to focus attention on her case. But it looks like quiet diplomacy has had its intended effect. The Sudanese government has taken a public relations hit. The passion of Meriam Ibrahim has had a happy ending.