Thursday, May 15, 2014
Muslims in Africa: A Sudanese court has sentenced a Christian woman to death for renouncing Islam
Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, 27, has been convicted by a Khartoum court of apostasy, or the renunciation of faith. The court considers her to be Muslim. She also was convicted of adultery. According to the rights group Amnesty International, she was convicted of adultery because her marriage to a Christian man was considered void under Sharia law. She was sentenced to 100 lashes for the second crime. She was born to a Sudanese Muslim father and an Ethiopian Orthodox mother. Her father left when she was 6 years old, and Ibrahim was raised by her mother as a Christian. However, because her father was Muslim, the courts considered her to be the same, which would mean that her marriage to a non-Muslim man is void. Sudan is one of the most difficult countries in the world to be a Christian. The country imposes Sharia law on Muslims and non-Muslims alike and punishes acts of "indecency" and "immorality" by floggings and amputations. The Sudanese government has arrested Christians for spreading their faith, razed Christian churches and confiscated Christians' property. Among all religious groups, Christians are the most likely to be persecuted worldwide, according to a 2014 report by the Pew Research Center. Between June 2006 and December 2012, Christians were harassed by governments in 151 countries, Pew reported.