Sudanese courts release woman sentenced to death for her Christian faith – UPDATED

Mariam ibrahimUPDATE: Mariam Ibrahim and her family were reportedly re-arrested at Khartoum’s airport Tuesday while attempting to leave the Sudan and travel to the United States. Read more here


Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, a 27-year-old Sudanese mother, has been released from prison after “unprecedented” international pressure was put upon the Sudanese government to honor her right to religious freedom.  

Ibrahim joined the Catholic Church shortly before she married U.S. citizen Daniel Bicensio Wani in December 2011. Ibrahim was ordered by a Sudanese court last month to return to Islam, and was sentenced to death for apostasy when she refused to renounce her Christian faith. She was also sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery because her marriage to a Christian was not seen as valid by the courts.

Ibrahim’s lawyer, Elshareef Ali, confirmed that she was released from prison on Monday and has been moved to a an undisclosed location for her protection. Ali said:

“She has been released from prison and she is on her way home with the children. She is very happy and the children are fine. Her husband Daniel Wani is overjoyed. He is so happy he is almost crying.”

Ibrahim’s 20-month-old son lived in the prison with her during her incarceration, and she gave birth to her second child, a daughter, while in prison. (more…)

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Phoenix priest says of attacker: ‘I have forgiven him’

Father Joseph Terra, FSSP at St. Catherine of Siena on Monday. Photo credit: Cindy Carcamo / Los Angeles Times

Father Joseph Terra, FSSP at St. Catherine of Siena on Monday. Photo credit: Cindy Carcamo / Los Angeles Times

Father Joseph Terra, FSSP, who was wounded after a break-in at his parish in Phoenix, was recently asked about the man who attacked him and killed his fellow priest. Father Terra simply said:

“I have forgiven him.”

Father Kenneth Walker, 28, was shot and killed during the June 11 break-in  at Mater Misericordiae Mission in Phoenix. Father Terra, 56, was able to call 911, but sustained severe injuries during the attack. Father Terra said that he was able to administer last rites before Father Walker died.

Police arrested Gary Michael Moran, 54, on suspicion of breaking into the rectory and attacking the priests, in what appeared to be an attempted burglary gone wrong. Phoenix police chief Daniel V. Garcia said that Moran had just completed a 5-year prison term for a 2005 home invasion, during which Moran stabbed the homeowner with a knife.

After the requiem Mass for Father Walker, fellow member of the priestly fraternity, Father Carl Gismondi, FSSP said:

“There is always forgiveness. It’s important for us to remember the  man who committed this act … We should pray for him. … The hardest part of Catholicism is to pray for those who persecute us.”

Read more at the Los Angeles Times.

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