After spending more than a month in the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag flew with her family to safety in Rome. Her arrest and death sentence because of her Christian faith drew worldwide condemnation. While her father was Muslim, Ibrahim was raised by her Christian mother. She says that she has never been Muslim.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said in a statement, "The pope thanked Meriam and her family for their courageous demonstration of constancy of faith. Meriam gave thanks for the great support and comfort which she received from the prayers of the pope and of many other people who believe and are of good will." [The Guardian]
Her lawyer, Mohamed Mostafa Nour told BBC Focus on Africa "She is unhappy to leave Sudan. She loves Sudan very much. It's the country she was born and grew up in. But her life is in danger so she feels she has to leave. Just two days ago a group called Hamza made a statement that they would kill her and everyone who helps her."
In an email to LifeSiteNews, Tony Perkins, President of hte Family Research Council said, “We celebrate Meriam Ibrahim and her family’s escape to freedom. It is our hope and prayer that Meriam and her family will now enjoy the liberty to practice their Christian faith without government interference or persecution.”
National Journal said that it was not clear if the U.S. was involved in her flight to Italy, but noted that a State Department official said that Ibrahim and her two children "have all the documents they need to enter the United States as soon as the government of Sudan allows them to exit the country."