THE Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death for allegedly
renouncing Islam, Meriam Ibrahim, has said that she never
considered abandoning her faith to save her life.
In an interview with Fox News, in the United States, where she
now lives, having been freed after a successful appeal against her
conviction, Ms Ibrahim said that her faith in God was "the only
weapon I had in these confrontations between imams and Muslim
scholars". The authorities had repeatedly sent imams into her
prison in an attempt to persuade her to convert to Islam and avoid
"I was given three days [to renounce my faith]. I faced a
tremendous amount of pressure," she said. "The situation was
difficult, but I was sure that God would stand by my side. It's my
right to follow the religion of my choice."
Ms Ibrahim, who denied committing apostasy, and said that she
had always been a Christian, was pregnant when she was arrested and
tried, and eventually gave birth in prison while still shackled in
chains (News, 30 May).
She told the news network that many Christians faced persecution
in Sudan. "There are many Meriams in Sudan and throughout the
world. I'm not the only one suffering from this problem.
"It is a well-known fact that Christians are persecuted and
treated harshly [in Sudan]. Sometimes, imprisoned Christians with
financial difficulties are told that the government will pay off
their debts if they convert to Islam."
She said that she was sad to leave the land of her birth for the
US, but was glad, with her children, to be reunited with her
husband, Daniel Wani, a US citizen. They now live in a Christian
Sudanese community in New Hampshire (News, 1
"I would like to help the people in Sudan, in Africa, especially
women and children, to promote freedom of religion," she said. "If
you don't have faith, you're not alive."