American Baptists Condemn Sentencing of Sudanese Woman

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American Baptists Condemn Sentencing of Sudanese Woman

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 5/16/14)—On Thursday, a Sudanese woman of Christian faith was sentenced to death after she refused to recant her faith in front of a court who considers her to be Muslim, according to CNN.

“American Baptists condemn the sentencing of Meriam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag to death for apostasy as a violation of the fundamental human right to religious liberty,” said American Baptist Churches USA General Secretary A. Roy Medley. “We call upon the international community to voice their opposition to such a heinous act. We continue to be deeply concerned for the Christian community here and elsewhere where they are a minority faith and subject to acts of violence and discrimination, even as we have voiced our condemnation of the oppression of the Rohingya in Burma.”

“We pray for our sister in Christ, that angels might minister to her and grant her strength even as we pray for her release,” said Medley.

After the sentencing of his wife, who is said to be pregnant, Ishag’s husband said he feels helpless. “I’m so frustrated. I don’t know what to do,” Daniel Wani told CNN on Thursday. “I’m just praying.”

In a statement by National Security Council Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden on the Sentencing of Ishag, Hayden said,

“Today in Sudan, Meriam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag was sentenced to be flogged for adultery and to be hanged to death for apostasy because she married a Christian man.  We strongly condemn this sentence and urge the Government of Sudan to meet its obligations under international human rights law. We call on the Government of Sudan to respect Ms. Ishag’s right to freedom of religion, a universal human right enshrined in Sudan’s own 2005 Constitution as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.” 

“Since 1999, Sudan has been designated as a Country of Particular Concern for its ongoing, egregious, and systematic violations of religious freedom.  We continue to urge Sudan to fulfill its constitutional promise of religious freedom, and to respect the fundamental freedoms and universal human rights of all its people.”

Please continue to pray for Meriam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag, her husband Daniel Wani, and all Christians who are needlessly persecuted both in minority countries and throughout the world.

American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.