I was shocked to learn this week that a Christian mother pregnant with her second child in Sudan was convicted of adultery and apostasy for marrying a Christian man. The punishment: 100 lashes and death, in that order.
Meriam Yahia Ibrahim, 27, claims her innocence, but the judge won't hear it. She was raised Orthodox Christian in Western Sudan and was practicing medicine when she married Daniel Wani, a Christian with U.S. citizenship.
While most Christian persecution stories never surface in mainstream media, this one is getting major headlines.
Wani, the husband, told CNN he felt helpless.
"I'm so frustrated. I don't know what to do," Daniel Wani told CNN on Thursday. "I'm just praying."
Reuters reports that young Sudanese university students have mounted a series of protests near Khartoum University in recent weeks asking for an end to human rights abuses, more freedoms and better social and economic conditions, saying, "The authorities decided on Sunday to close the university indefinitely."
Meanwhile, the Associated Press explains that Sudan introduced Islamic Shariah laws in the early 1980s, a move that contributed to the resumption of an insurgency in the mostly animist and Christian south of Sudan.
The mainstream media stories about this case are lighting up the Internet.
Although media attention alone doesn't free Ibrahim from her captors, it's good to see news organizations that typically ignore the plight of persecuted pastors are reporting the story. This may put some pressure on Sudan to back off.
It would be nice, though, if the White House would make a statement like the one Amnesty International, a human rights organization, released.
"The fact that a woman could be sentenced to death for her religious choice and to flogging for being married to a man of an allegedly different religion is abhorrent and should never be even considered. 'Adultery' and 'apostasy' are acts which should not be considered crimes at all, let alone meet the international standard of 'most serious crimes' in relation to the death penalty. It is flagrant breach of international human rights law," says Manar Idriss, Amnesty International's Sudan researcher.
So far, the White House is eerily silent on the issue that even liberal media are clamoring about. What gives? That's a whole other story.
Of course, we know that ultimately Ibrahim's fate lies in God's hands. I can't imagine how it could be His will to allow a pregnant, married mother of two who loves Jesus and is a light in such a dark place to be flogged and murdered in the name of Allah.
Please join me in praying for Ibrahim's release, as well as the girls Boko Haram kidnapped a month ago. These are two stories the mainstream media just can't ignore. Also, check out our article from yesterday to learn what more you can do to help set this persecuted pregnant Christian mother free.
Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also the author of several books, including The Making of a Prophet. You can email Jennifer at jennifer.leclaire@