…coming out of the closet…




Lord David Alton

Lord David Alton

Doing politics as if people mattered.

David Alton’s talk ‘For such a Time as This’ packed out the pastoral centre at St Joseph’s New Malden recently, and the audience was not disappointed. What an inspirational speaker. He has the facts and figures at his fingertips regarding religious intolerance and in particular, Christian persecution. To get an idea of the kind of man he is, take a look at this BBC report.

This weekend, as Pope Francis visits the Christians in the Holy Land, and as a young, Christian woman faces the death penalty in Sudan for her faith, let us ask Mary to intercede for harmony, peace and justice around the world. Our Lady Help of Christians, pray for us!



UPDATE: Pregnant Sudanese Christian mother sentenced to death
Thank you for praying for Sudanese Christian Meriam Ibrahim. Her death sentence for ‘apostasy’ was upheld on Thursday after she refused to renounce her faith. Her lawyers have 15 days to file an appeal. In the meantime Meriam is still being held in Omdurman Federal Women’s Prison along with her 20-month-old son, Daniel Wani. Please continue to pray for her.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide has learned that the Public Order Court in El Haj Yousif Khartoum, Sudan, has confirmed Meriam Yahia Ibrahim’s death sentence for apostasy after she refused to renounce her faith. The court had given the heavily pregnant Christian mother until 15 May to convert to Islam, implying that her sentence could be annulled or reduced if she did so.

Mrs Ibrahim was arrested on 17 February 2014, and subsequently charged and sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery and death for ‘apostasy’ (leaving Islam) under articles 146 and 126 of Sudan’s Penal Code respectively, after Sudanese authorities were made aware of her marriage to a Christian man. She is currently detained in Omdurman Federal Women’s Prison along with her 20-month-old son, Martin Wani.

Meriam presented proof that she is a life-long Christian

Mrs Ibrahim testified before the court on 4 March that she is a life-long Christian, producing her marriage certificate where she is classified as Christian as proof of her religion. She was born in western Sudan to a Sudanese Muslim father and an Ethiopian Orthodox mother. Her father left the family when Mrs Ibrahim was six years old and she was subsequently brought up as a Christian by her mother. Three potential witnesses from western Sudan who went to the hearing to testify of Mrs Ibrahim’s lifelong adherence to Christianity were prevented from giving evidence.

After the court confirmed the death sentence, Mrs Ibrahim’s lawyers asserted their intention to launch an appeal, a process which could take several months.

Prevented from receiving medical treatment during incarceration

Concerns about Mrs Ibrahim’s health and welfare continue to be raised. Mrs Ibrahim’s husband has complained that throughout her incarceration his wife has been prevented from receiving visitors and, more seriously, from accessing vital medical treatment. A family member said: ‘we are concerned for her wellbeing; it is not very safe for her to be in the prison with dangerous criminals’.

Mrs Ibrahim’s sentence is the latest and most significant in a series of repressive acts by the Sudanese government against religious minorities. If the sentence is carried out Mrs Ibrahim will become the first person to be executed for apostasy under the 1991 penal code, prompting concerns that the charge may increasingly be used against anyone who converts from Islam.

Article from CSR (Christian Solidarity  Worldwide)

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