Sudan court sentences woman to death for not renouncing Christian faith

By Kyle Johnson,

A Sudanese woman was sentenced to death by hanging on Thursday for refusing to renounce her Christianity faith in favor of Islam.

The Khartoum court also sentenced Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, who is pregnant, to a flogging for adultery because the state does not recognize her marriage to a Christian man, reports the Los Angeles Times. Due to sharia law, her marriage is not seen as valid because the court says she is Muslim.

A family member allegedly reported her to the authorities in 2013 after learning she was married to a Christian man. She was first charged with adultery, but then apostasy was tacked on when she claimed to be Christian.

Ibrahim also has a young son, who she will be allowed to raise until he turns 2, then she can be executed for failing to renounce her faith. She claimed she was raised Christian. The Strategic Initiative for Women say that her father was a Muslim who married an Orthodox Christian woman, but was never around.

According to CNN, because her father was Muslim, that makes Ibrahim Muslim as well. She will have 15 days to appeal the verdict.

Amnesty International's Sudan researcher Manar Idriss decried the verdict saying in a statement, "The fact that a woman has been sentenced to death for her religious choice, and to flogging for being married to a man of an allegedly different religion is appalling and abhorrent."

Idriss added, "Adultery and apostasy are acts which should not be considered crimes at all."

In a press statement, the State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said, "We are deeply disturbed" by the court's ruling and hoped Sudan would change their minds on the sentencing.

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