New York, NY – June 23, 2014
The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) rejoices over the release of Meriam Yahia Ibrahim who has been imprisoned in Sudan since the middle of May. Falsely charged with apostasy and adultery, this mother with her young child and newborn were held captive for weeks, as the world watched in disbelief.
“We are thankful that God has answered the prayers of many and rejoice with the family, who will now be reunited,” said Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, Secretary General of the WEA. “It is deeply disappointing that she was charged and sentenced to death simply for being a Christian.”
She was sentenced to hang for her alleged conversion to Christianity from Islam, and given three days to recant her faith, despite being raised as a Christian and married to a Christian husband. Ibrahim’s father, a Sudanese Muslim, left home when she was 6 years old, so her Ethiopian mother, an Ethiopian Orthodox, raised her as a Christian. However, according to Sudan’s Islamic law, she was Muslim because of her Muslim father, and her relationship with her husband was considered “illicit” because he is a Christian.
Media and human right groups globally and nationally condemned the conviction and imprisonment of a woman, 8-months pregnant and later giving birth, while caring for her 18-month old son.
“We appreciate the world-wide media attention given to this case and are grateful to the many advocates internationally and in Sudan who spoke out about the violation of a basic human right,” Dr. Tunnicliffe said. “And we continue to pray and advocate for the many thousands of believers in the world at risk simply because they’re Christians.”
“There are many who are persecuted and even martyred for their faith in Christ without anyone ever hearing their story,” Dr. Tunnicliffe adds. “We urge governments to respect freedom of religion as essential for a society’s health, peace and well-being.”
Over two billion Christians in the world today are represented by three world church bodies. The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) is one of those, serving and representing more than 600 million evangelicals. Launched in 1846 to unite evangelicals worldwide, the WEA continues to be a dynamic movement with 7 regional and 129 national Evangelical Alliances, and over 150 member organizations. WEA's mission is to speak as a trusted voice, to equip members and leaders for global impact and to connect its members and others for common action in the furtherance of God’s reign. For more info e-mail at [email protected] or go toWorldea.org.