A Sudanese mother’s courage inspired millions of Christian women

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Meriam Ibrahim, arrested last August in Sudan and sentenced to death after being accused by family members of apostasy and adultery, was not only pressured to recant her Christian faith and thereby nullify her marriage, but was kept in shackles while giving birth to her second child in prison.

Meriam Yahya Ibrahim of Sudan carries one of her children, as she arrives  at Ciampino airport in Rome on July 24 with Lapo Pistelli, Italy's vice minister for foreign affairs, holding her other child, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, right, and his wife Agnese, left, and Foreign Affairs minister Ferica Mogherini. The Sudanese woman was spared a death sentence for converting from Islam to Christianity and then barred from leaving Sudan. / Remo Casilli / Reuters

Meriam Yahya Ibrahim of Sudan carries one of her children, as she arrives at Ciampino airport in Rome on July 24 with Lapo Pistelli, Italy’s vice minister for foreign affairs, holding her other child, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, right, and his wife Agnese, left, and Foreign Affairs minister Ferica Mogherini. The Sudanese woman was spared a death sentence for converting from Islam to Christianity and then barred from leaving Sudan. / Remo Casilli / Reuters

“I am a Christian and I will remain a Christian,” Ibrahim resolutely declared in a Sudanese courtroom in May, where she was sentenced to death for alleged apostasy and 100 lashes for adultery. …

It was that fierce determination to keep trusting in God for her deliverance that drew the support and admiration of many Christians from around the world for the would-be martyr.

“On behalf of all African women, I thank you Meriam Ibrahim, for showing the world the indomitable courage that is at the core of authentic femininity. I say this because your pain and persecution were tied so firmly to your femininity. And so your triumph was a most powerful witness to life, to motherhood, to marriage, to love and to faith,” writes Obianuju Ekeocha in an “thank you” letter published on cultureoflifeafrica.com. …

“For under intense persecution, you refused to deny your Christian faith. Under the threat of the extremists, you stood as a witness and a martyr. Under the pain of incarceration, you would not deny your husband or renounce your marriage. Under the heavy shackles of prison you still had the strength and defiance to give life, to give birth. Under the certainty of a death sentence you had the determination to nurse your precious little baby.

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