Protesters to Obama: Grant Jailed Christian Sudanese Woman U.S. Citizenship, Secure Her Release

Penny Starr | June 13, 2014 | 2:14pm EDT
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Protesters carrying signed demonstrated in front of the White House on June 12, 2014 to call attention to the case of a Christian woman jailed in Sudan with her two young children, both of whom are U.S. citizens. ( Starr)

( – A coalition of Christian groups held at protest in front of the White House on Thursday to raise awareness about a Christian woman who is imprisoned in Sudan with her infant daughter and toddler son for apostasy.

“In the case of Meriam Ibriham, she needs to be released from the prison in north Sudan,” Ed Lyons of the Persecution Project told “She needs to be granted American citizenship.”

Ibriham was born in Sudan to a Christian mother and Muslim father, making her a Muslim under Sudanese law. She married Daniel Wani, a Christian – a marriage not recognized under Sudanese law.

On May 15, a Sudanese court convicted Ibrahim of "apostasy" because she refused to renounce her Christianity and become a Muslim. For this "crime," the Sudanese court sentenced her to death.

The court also convicted Meriam of "adultery" for marrying a Christian. For this "crime," the court sentenced her to be flogged before she is hanged.

Lyons said because Wani is a naturalized U.S. citizen making both their children U.S. citizens, Ibrahim should be brought to the U.S. and be granted U.S. citizenship.

“It’s just inhumane what’s going on,” Lyons said.

Cameron Thomas, regional manager for Africa for International Christian Concern, told that neither President Barack Obama nor Secretary of State John Kerry has publicly spoken on this issue.

Thomas called on both Obama and Kerry to publicly “speak Meriam’s name” and press the Sudanese government for her release.

“This is personal,” Thomas said. “We’re talking about a woman who is the mother of two children and married to a man that is a U.S. citizen and who gave birth in prison, and who is being sentenced to death for her faith.

“Our president has failed to speak out on this issue, and that’s completely unacceptable,” Thomas said.

Protesters urged people at the event and curious bystanders to write their representatives demanding that the U.S. take action on Meriam’s behalf. They also urged people to visit the website where they can find details about the case or make a donation to support efforts on her behalf.

They can also – if they dare – watch a video of a Sudanese woman being bull-whipped in the public square on the website.

The Christian groups taking part in the protest were: International Christian Concern, Institute for Religion and Democracy, Open Doors USA, Christian Solidarity International USA, the Persecution Project, Family Research Council, and Concerned Women for America.

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