A Christian woman in Sudan who refused to renounce her faith and was sentenced to death was released according to her lawyer, Hohaned Mustafa El-Nour after international condemnation harshly criticized the Sudanese government.
Meriam Yehya Ibrahim was reunited with her American citizen husband, Daniel Wani, along with her small child who was born in prison. It is unknown if an additional punishment of 100 lashes was administered for refusing to reject her Christian faith. Meriam was released after an appeals court found that an initial judgment against her was “faulty”.
It was a story of inspiration, love, and courage as Meriam was accused of apostasy by a court in Khartoum who consider her Muslim even though she was raised Christian by her mother after her Muslim father left when she was only six years old. The court did not recognize her marriage to a non-Muslim after she fell in love and married American Daniel Wani.
A flurry of intercessory prayers on her behalf fueled an international outcry against a punishment that did not fit the crime in the court of world opinion. To complicate matters, the United States considered Meriam and Daniel’s child a citizen of the United States since the baby was born through the marriage of an American citizen.
All Meriam had to do was renounce her faith and she would have won both her and the baby’s freedom. She refused.
One of the most powerful testimonies to faith through Jesus Christ is the willingness for persecuted believers to give up everything, even one’s life and child. As persecution increases globally, Meriam’s symbolic stand not to bow down at the altars of Baal will be a magnificently huge example for Christians worldwide to follow.
In America Christians are already losing their jobs and facing penalties for not embracing the world view of those around them. Meriam’s stand in the Sudan amid the historical persecution suffered by the Sudanese people is a timeless example of not compromising even though it would seem politically expedient to do so. You can bet American Christians will pay attention.
As disturbing as the story line is regarding Meriam’s persecution, it is not unique at all, particularly in Muslim dominated countries as Pakistan, Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan where mere accusations against Christians can easily result in arrest, prison, and a death sentence for merely having a belief in Christianity.
Open Doors, an organization which tracks Christian persecution, released a report about the dramatic rise in Christian persecution. This increased resistance to the Christian religion has not excluded the United States as more animosity towards Christian ideals, traditions, and faith is being demonstrated by those wanting to squash religious freedom.
Judaism is also under increased attack by those with spiritual hatred towards the religion that birthed Christianity. It is not too surprising that the Bible already documents that the persecution would take place exactly as stipulated during “the time of Jacob’s trouble”.
It has been foretold that Christians would face persecution collectively and individually as shown by Meriam’s plight and the global problems Christian face today. Israel would be menaced increasingly by countries around her. Rebellion against the same spiritual authority shared by Christians and Jews is taking place.
There is a separation taking place based on the old Bible standard of light and darkness, good and evil, or righteousness and rebellion. It can be blatant as a death sentence given to a Christian as done to Meriam, or as subtle as a vote by the Presbyterian Church USA to divest itself from companies doing business with Israel.
Somebody is right, and somebody is wrong.