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01 October 2014

Sudan's Mariam Ibrahim to campaign for religious freedom

Sudan's Mariam Ibrahim to campaign for religious freedom

The Sudanese Christian woman who was imprisoned for her faith will now campaign for religious freedom worldwide, she announced this week. 

Mariam Ibrahim was imprisoned for rejecting her estranged father's Muslim faith and charged with apostasy. 

She was also charged with adultery for marrying American Christian Daniel Wani and gave birth to her daughter with shackles on her feet while in a Sudanese jail.  

Though she was sentenced to death in May, an international campaign lead to her release in June, though she was detained in the country for a further month. 

Ibrahim, speaking to the BBC in the United States where she is seeking asylum, announced she will now campaign for others being persecuted for her faith. 

She said: "There are others who are in worse conditions in Sudan than what I was in. 

"The law, instead of protecting people, is bringing harm to them." Ibrahim said she was "threatened" by the guards during her imprisonment, and warned that she must convert to Islam. 

She was raised by a Christian mother, but Sudan's version of Islamic law considered her father's religion to mean she was technically a Muslim. 

"The judge told me that I needed to convert to Islam," she said. "And so these warnings made me anticipate I would be sentenced to death." 

Ibrahim said her time in prison "wasn't easy", but that she will now work to help those in similar situations across the world. 

This week, she was awarded the first ever Cost of Discipleship Award at the evangelical Family Research Council ceremony, The Values Voter Summit, in Washington, D.C. 

The Religious Liberty Commission (RLC), set up by the Evangelical Alliance, is encouraging churches in the UK to unite on Sunday, 16 November 2014 for this year's International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP). 

The RLC, which brings together Release International, Open Doors and Christian Solidarity Worldwide to speak with one voice, is calling for Christians to pray for those being persecuted for their faith. A range of resources are available to help your church mark IDOP Sunday. 

Visit www.eauk.org/rlc for links to the online IDOP resources produced by RLC members.