The long, torturous wait is over. Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese Christian woman who nearly died for her faith, is now a free woman.
According to BBC News, Meriam Ibrahim and her family have flown from Sudan to Italy where they were met by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who declared a “day of celebration.”
Meriam had initially been sentenced to death by hanging by a Sudanese court after her refusal to renounce Islam.
Following an international outcry, Meriam was released from prison in June. However, negotiations with the Sudanese government for her departure from Khartoum stalled. She was re-arrested. Later she was freed again and resided for more than a month in the U.S. embassy.
“The news of Meriam’s release is so very heartening and an answer to many prayers worldwide offered up to Jesus on her behalf. The challenge remaining is to eliminate violence and persecution against individuals for their faith,” said Dr. David Curry, President/CEO of Open Doors USA.
“Women of Sudan and elsewhere should have the freedom to read the Bible if they so choose and decide for themselves what they believe. Thankfully, Meriam now has that freedom, but sadly the rest of Sudan’s female population does not,” Curry continued.
Meriam, 27, who is a doctor, was accompanied to Italy by her husband Daniel Wani and their two children. Their daughter Maya was born in May in prison while Meriam was in bound in chains. Wani, also a Christian, is from South Sudan and has U.S. citizenship.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins applauded her release.
“We celebrate Meriam Ibrahim and her family’s escape to freedom,” he said. “It is our hope and prayer that Meriam and her family will now enjoy the liberty to practice their Christian faith without government interference or persecution.
“For Meriam, this day marks the end of a long and difficult saga. We’re so grateful that this courageous woman now has the opportunity to live in freedom. Today is truly a day of celebration,” said Kristin Wright, Advocacy Director for Open Doors USA.
Sudan is ranked No. 11 on the Open Doors 2014 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians.
— Christian News Journal staff
News video — CBN news