Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. (Hebrews 13:3 ESV)
Most of us have heard the story of Meriam Ibrahim, the woman facing the death penalty for apostasy and adultery in Sudan. Meriam is being accused of illegally converting from Islam to Christianity, as well as marrying Daniel Wani, a non-Muslim. According to Sudanese law, it is illegal to do either. Meriam has been in prison since February along with her 20-month-old son and newborn baby girl.
I have been aware of this story for weeks, but maybe like some of you, I haven’t done much in response. Partly because it seems well beyond my ability to be helpful; I’m thousands of miles away and feel powerless in this situation. But another reason may be, if I were to be honest, that Meriam’s story seems like many other stories that I’ve heard before. I was shocked and saddened, but Meriam was a stranger. And while her situation was horrific, it is easy for me to forget about Meriam in the midst of every day life. I was moved, but not necessarily moved to action.
This morning, however, I was reminded of an essential part of Meriam’s story. Meriam is my sister. I don’t mean that in some abstract way. It is absolutely true. Meriam and I have the same Father. Both of us love Jesus, our Elder Brother. She and I belong to the same family.
As the reality of that truth sinks in, I am convinced that I cannot remain silent. My sister is in prison, sentenced to die. I must respond. Maybe you can too.
Here are some ways to do so:
- Pray for Meriam’s release (Acts 12:1-5)
- Pray that Meriam and Daniel will love their enemies (Luke 6:27-36)
- Pray that Meriam and Daniel would have continual wisdom and boldness to speak the gospel to her persecutors (Ephesians 6:19-20)
- Pray that God’s grace would be sufficient for Meriam and Daniel in times of weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
- Pray that Meriam and Daniel would believe that to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:18-30)
- Pray that Meriam and Daniel will remember their future glory and the inseparable love of God (Romans 8:18-39)
Learn More About Meriam’s Situation
- CNN Interview with Daniel Wani, Meriam’s Husband
- Huffington Post UK
- Official Statement from Sudanese Embassy
- Christianity Today Article
- Voice of the Martyrs Article
Contact Your U.S. Representative and Senator
- U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 (A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the office of the Senator/Representative you request.)
- Contact Secretary of State John Kerry and urge him to take immediate action: 202-647-4000
Contact Sudan’s Embassy in the United States
- Call Sudan’s Embassy in the United States: 202-338-8565
- Write a letter to Sudan’s Embassy in the United States: 2210 Massachusetts Ave, Washington DC, 20008 (sample below)
- Email Sudan’s Embassy in the United States (sample below)
Sign a Petition Online
Dear Embassy Representative,
Let me first thank you for taking note of my letter.
I would like to bring to the attention of the Government of Sudan the case of Meriam Yahia Ibrahim, a Christian mother of two. She is a Sudanese national, University of Khartoum graduate, licensed medical professional, caring mother and faithful wife to her husband, who is a United States citizen.
On February 17, Public Order officials in Khartoum arrested and detained Meriam and her 20-month-old son, in violation of her human right to a fair and public trial, according to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Sudan is party.
On March 4, the El Haj Yousif Public Order Court in Khartoum handed down charges of adultery and apostasy to Meriam for legally marrying a professed Christian and for expressing her Christian faith, in violation of her human right to the free practice of religion, according to the ICCPR, to which Sudan is party.
On May 11, that same court convicted Meriam on charges of adultery and apostasy, punishable by 100 lashes and death respectively, according to Sudan’s 1991 Public Order Criminal Code.
As such, I write your Embassy today to respectfully ask the Government of Sudan immediately and unconditionally release Meriam, dropping all charges and foregoing all sentences, so that she and her children, may return to their husband and father.
Thank you once again for your time and consideration.
Photocredit: Christianity Today