Terry Jeffrey
As of this writing, Meriam Ibrahim sits shackled in the cell in the Omdurman Federal Women's Prison in Sudan that she shares with her two babies, Martin and Maya.

This is the family of an American citizen -- being persecuted for their Christian faith by a foreign government.

How did they end up in a Sudanese prison? Meriam's husband is Daniel Wani, a naturalized U.S. citizen, who, according to the Manchester Union Leader, moved from Sudan to New Hampshire in 1998. He was naturalized in 2005. In December 2011, according to the Daily Mail, he and Meriam were married in a Christian church in Sudan.

Their son, Martin, was born 20 months ago in Sudan. Their daughter, Maya, was born last week in the Omdurman prison.

Meriam, who is 27, was raised as a Christian in Sudan by her Ethiopian Orthodox mother. Her father, a Muslim, reportedly abandoned the family when Meriam was six.

In Sudan, the children of Muslim fathers are not allowed to be Christians -- no matter what their hearts, minds and souls tell them. Freedom of conscience does not exist.

On May 15, a Sudanese court convicted Meriam 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 her relationship with her own husband -- because Sudan refuses to recognize the marriage of a Christian man to a Muslim woman. For this "crime," the court sentenced her to be flogged before she is hanged.

Martin is in jail with his mother because Sudan considers him to be a Muslim, too, and will not release him to his Christian father.

Sudan will allow Meriam to nurse the infant Maya in prison for two years -- then it will hang Meriam.

Meriam has demonstrated a saintly courage. Daniel recounted for the Mail a conversation she had with him when he was allowed to visit her in prison.

"If they want to execute me then they should go ahead and do it because I'm not going to change my faith," she told her husband. "I refuse to change. I am not giving up Christianity just so that I can live. I know I could stay alive by becoming a Muslim and I would be able to look after our family, but I need to be true to myself."

British Prime Minister David Cameron has personally spoken out in defense of this wife of a U.S. citizen.


Terry Jeffrey

Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSNews

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