Category : –South Sudan

(PA) Meriam Ibrahim 'to be freed' from death row in Sudan

A woman sentenced to death in Sudan after marrying a Christian could be released within days, according to reports.

A senior Khartoum official has told the BBC that Meriam Ibrahim will be freed following worldwide protests about her treatment.

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(L Times) Meriam determined to stay a Christian, says her husband Daniel Wani

Mr Wani, 27, said his wife was “frustrated” by her situation but was committed to maintaining that she was Christian.

He told CNN: “There is pressure on her from Muslim religious leaders that she should return to the faith. She said, ”˜How can I return when I never was a Muslim? Yes my father was a Muslim, but I was brought up by my mother.’

” I know my wife. She’s committed. Even last week, they brought in sheikhs and she told them, ”˜I’m pretty sure I’m not going to change my mind’….I’m standing by her to the end. Whatever she wants, I’ll stand by her.”

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(L Times) Woman on death row in Sudan for being a Christian–Religious intolerance is rising

The courts have judged that she was born a Muslim (because her absent father was one) and therefore that her claim to be a Christian, following marriage to a Christian man, meets the criteria under Sudan’s version of Sharia for the death penalty. The hanging will not, however, be carried out if she renounces her faith and embraces Islam. This she refuses to do. The sentence of 100 lashes for adultery remains to be carried out some time before her execution.

Pinch yourself. This is 2014 not 1014. Meriam’s imprisonment is an offence against basic human rights. Under any civilised code her crime would be no crime at all, but her murder by the Sudanese state most certainly would be a terrible one. A campaign by Amnesty International for Meriam’s release has already received the support of 147,000 people and we hope that many more will sign up.

But such private pressure, while admirable and necessary, is not enough. It is clear that in many countries of the world archaic religious laws or cultural practices are increasingly becoming a major threat to women and religious minorities.

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(Mail Online) Sudanese woman sentenced to death was forced to give birth with her legs shackled

A Sudanese woman sentenced to death for marrying a Christian was forced to give birth with her legs chained, it has been revealed today.

Meriam Ibrahim was shackled as her baby daughter was born in jail in Sudan where she is awaiting execution for marrying a Christian U.S. citizen.

Amid the joy of seeing his child for the first time, her husband Daniel Wani has spoken of his anger at the treatment she received during labour.

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(Persecution News) Everything you need to know about Meriam Yahia Abraham's Case

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(CNS) Sudanese churches condemn death sentence for Christian woman

Churches in Sudan, including the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference, have condemned the death sentence handed to a Christian woman who refused to renounce her faith.

Meriam Ibrahim, whose father was Muslim but whose mother was an Orthodox Christian from Ethiopia, was convicted of apostasy by a court in Khartoum in mid-May for marrying a Christian.

In a joint statement, the Sudanese churches said the charges against Ibrahim are false. They appealed to the Sudanese government to free her from prison, according to the social communications department of AMECEA, the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa, based in Nairobi, Kenya.

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Archbishop Justin Welby endorses call for Sudan death sentence on Mariam Yahya to be dropped

As the Co-Chairs of the Christian Muslim Forum we call for compassion in this situation and for the death sentence against Mariam Yehya Ibrahim Ishag to be dropped.

Our religions tell us that human interactions should be shaped by compassion and humanity, not by death sentences. It is vital that all people should enjoy freedom of conscience and be able to follow their own religion, as we have already highlighted in our Ethical Witness Guidelines. Christians and Muslims should be able to coexist alongside each other, we emphasise that force and compulsion are not characteristics of either faith.

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(CT) Ethnic Violence Kills 10,000””and It Gets Even Worse in South Sudan

South Sudan’s problems…are far from over. Relief experts said famine and disease pose great risk. The rainy season has begun, making delivery of food more difficult in this France-sized nation with few paved roads. Families in some cases have survived by eating leaves. Malnourished children will die of starvation before the end of the year unless relief aid arrives now. Health officials say nine people have died from cholera so far in May.

“We are now in a race against time to prevent the deaths of 50,000 children under the age of five who are already suffering high levels of malnutrition,” said Perry Mansfield, South Sudan National Director, World Vision.

“The numbers of very hungry is staggering. Almost 5 million people are desperately in need of humanitarian assistance. People have fled their homes and so cannot plant their crops. Almost a quarter of a million children will be severely malnourished by the end of the year. But the costs of air dropping and flying in food is more expensive than trucking it in, but delivery options and time are running out.”

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(Mercatornet) Pregnant Sudanese woman could be hanged for “apostasy”

The women of Iran deserve to have freedom of choice about their chadors. It is a disgrace that their mullahs deny them a basic human freedom.

But almost no one in the gallery of gushing approval is raising her voice to defend Meriam Yehya Ibrahim who was condemned to death in Sudan on May 1. Meriam is eight months pregnant, but a court in Khartoum found her guilty of adultery and apostatising from Islam.

The case against her is an absurd travesty of justice by all standards except the standards of the fundamentalist regime which currently governs Sudan. Twenty-seven-year-old Meriam is the daughter of a Muslim father and a Ethiopian Coptic Orthodox mother. Meriam’s father deserted the family when she was a baby and she was raised as a Christian. She qualified as a doctor at University of Khartoum Medical School and married a Christian man from South Sudan, Daniel Wani. Mr Wani is an American citizen who lives in New Hampshire. They have a 20-month-old son and were hoping to emigrate to the US.

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Daniel Wani to appeal pregnant wife Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag’s death sentence in Sudan

Wani, a Sudanese man with US citizenship who lives in Manchester in New Hampshire, is now in Sudan to try and help his wife.

“I was considered innocent and the marriage revoked ”” the revoking of this marriage means that my son is no longer my son and the one coming is not my son too, will not be my son ”” so this innocence means nothing and I will appeal for myself and I will appeal for my wife,” Reuters news agency reported.

“Martin [my son] and my wife, they are all in prison and she is pregnant ”” she could give birth at any time, from today to 1st of June, she may give birth. I am afraid that being in prison is dangerous for her so if they would allow me to take her to the hospital that she delivered Martin in ”” even if it was under the watch of security guards, I would be thankful.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --South Sudan, Africa, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sudan, Theology

Statement from the Ang. Church in New Zealand on the Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to Death

Following the sentencing to death of a pregnant Sudanese woman for refusing to abandon her Christian faith, the Anglican Archbishops of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia are calling on all people of good-will to raise their voices in protest.

Archbishops Brown Turei, Philip Richardson, and Winston Halapua, say it is hard to find words to describe the plight of the woman. The Archbishops believe people across all faiths, who seek charity, love, and justice, will find the court’s decision hateful and heartless

Meriam Ibrahim and her Christian husband were married in 2011. They have an 18-month-old son. A court, in the Sudan capital of Khartoum, has sentenced Meriam to flogging for marrying a non-Muslim and to death for abandoning the Muslim faith for Christianity.

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Archbishop Justin Welby on the South Sudan crisis – video

The church in South Sudan is ‘leading the struggle against violence’ says Archbishop Justin Welby in this interview with Episcopal News Service

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Canon Derek Waller and his wife heading out to South Sudan for new calling

The move for Canon Derek Waller, vicar of St Peter’s Church in Rushden, and wife Jane follows an invitation from long-standing South Sudanese friend Bishop Anthony Poggo to re-visit the country where they both worked in the 1980s.

Derek said: “Bishop Anthony invited us and our adult children to visit our old friends in South Sudan last year. It was a joyful time, as we renewed friendships and worshipped with local Christians.

“As we became aware of the many needs there, we felt a renewed call from God to serve the people and the church. There’s tremendous openness, joy and faith there.

“We realised how much it would mean to them if we returned.”

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(AP) UN Chief Urges Special Tribunal for South Sudan

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Monday for a special tribunal for South Sudan, saying there are grounds to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed since widespread violence began five months ago.

The U.N. chief welcomed last Friday’s cease-fire agreement by President Salva Kiir and his former vice president, Riek Machar, and demanded an immediate end to fighting, which flared over the weekend. He called for “30 days of tranquility” so farmers can plant crops in peace to avoid famine in the world’s newest nation.

“If the conflict continues, half of South Sudan’s 12 million people will either be displaced internally, refugees abroad, starving or dead by the year’s end,” Ban warned the U.N. Security Council.

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(CMS) Stephen Lubari–Longing for peace, reconciliation and healing in South Sudan

On a recent visit to the CMS offices. Stephen Lubari, education programme manager of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan (ECSSS), had a simple message from the world’s newest nation:

“Pray for peace, reconciliation and healing in South Sudan. Pray for those in the internally displaced people (IDP) camps and for those involved in the peace process ”“ including the church which is working with the government and outside agencies to achieve this.”

The most pressing need for the IDPs, according to Stephen, is making sure that enough emergency relief reaches them in the shape of food, water and shelter ”“ especially as April and May is when the rains start. The United Nations humanitarian coordination agency, UNOCHA, said in a situation report on 25 April that as many as 4.9 million people need humanitarian assistance.

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South Sudan's Rival Leaders to Hold Direct Talks on Friday

South Sudanese president Salva Kiir has agreed to meet face to face with former vice-president turned rebel leader Riek Machar on Friday, senior diplomats in Juba disclosed on Monday.

“The Ethiopian prime minister in his capacity as the chairperson of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has notified the government of the meeting which the president had accepted to take place between him and Riek Machar,” a senior diplomat told Sudan Tribune on Monday.

“I am told the meeting will take place [this] Friday 9 [April],” added the official who requested anonymity.

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(BBC) South Sudan conflict: Bentiu 'ethnic slaughter' condemned

Hundreds of people were killed because of their ethnicity after South Sudan rebels seized the oil hub of Bentiu last week, the UN has said.

They were targeted at a mosque, a church and a hospital, the UN Mission in South Sudan said in a statement.

It added that hate speech was broadcast on local radio stations, saying certain groups should leave the town and urging men to rape women.

The Nuer community are seen as supporters of rebel leader Riek Machar

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(NYT) Anglican Leader Justin Welby, Under Fire for Remarks, Urges Caution on Same-Sex Marriage

The archbishop of Canterbury, under fire for appearing to link expanded gay rights in the United States to violence against Christians in Africa, said on Thursday that he is advocating for a slow and deliberative response to same-sex marriage, mindful of the global implications.

“I think we need to be aware of the realities on the ground, in our own countries and around the world, and to take those into account when we’re moving forward,” the archbishop, Justin Welby, told reporters in Oklahoma City, where he was meeting with the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church and attending a conference on violence.

“It doesn’t mean you necessarily do something other than you feel is the right thing to do,” he said, “but you’re aware of the need perhaps to do it in a different way.”

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(Church Times) South Sudan Bps–”˜We face attacks if C of E marriage policy changes’

Bishops in South Sudan have confirmed the Archbishop of Canterbury’s warning that Christians in their country face a violent reaction if the Church of England permits same-sex marriage and blessings.

Archbishop Welby gave his warning during a phone-in on LBC radio last Friday. Asked why the Church of England could not permit clergy to bless same-sex relationships, he said: “The impact of that on Christians in countries far from here, like South Sudan, like Nigeria, and other places, would be absolutely catastrophic.”

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A Statement from the Global South Primates Steering Committee Cairo, Egypt 14-15 February 2014

3. As we reviewed the current situation, we recognized that the fabric of the Communion was torn at its deepest level as a result of the actions taken by The Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church in Canada since 2003. As a result, our Anglican Communion is currently suffering from broken relations, a lack of trust, and dysfunctional “instruments of unity.”
4. However, we trust in God’s promise that the “gates of hades will not overcome” the church. Holding unto this promise, we believe that we have to make every effort in order to restore our beloved Communion. Therefore we took the following decisions:
a) We request and will support the Archbishop of Canterbury to call for a Primates Meeting in 2015 in order to address the increasingly deteriorating situation facing the Anglican Communion. It is important that the agenda of this Primates Meeting be discussed and agreed upon by the Primates beforehand in order to ensure an effective meeting.
b) We decided to establish a Primatial Oversight Council, in following-through the recommendations taken at Dromantine in 2005 and Dar es Salam in 2007, to provide pastoral and primatial oversight to dissenting individuals, parishes, and dioceses in order to keep them within the Communion.
c) We realize that the time has come to address the ecclesial deficit, the mutual accountability and re-shaping the instruments of unity by following through the recommendations mentioned in the Windsor Report (2004), the Primates Meetings in Dromantine (2005) and Dar es Salam (2007), and the Windsor Continuation Group report.

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The full text of Archbishop Justin Welby's sermon in South Sudan

Reconciliation is long and hard work. The first place we find reconciliation is in Jesus Christ. Only Jesus has the resources to give us so we can be reconciled. Paul says, be reconciled to God through Jesus. Even a loving person runs out of resources to forgive – like a bottle of water which becomes empty.

But the reconciliation of Jesus is like the Nile in flood. If you want reconciliation in South Sudan, renew your reconciliation with God in Jesus. In the revival of 1938, this region spoke of the joy of Christ. As Nehemiah says, the joy of the Lord is our strength. When I see you dance and I hear your sing, my strength is renewed.

It all starts with Jesus. So pray, pray and pray more. In England it’s a lesson we need to learn.

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Archbishop Justin Welby preaches in South Sudan

Preaching at All Saints Cathedral in Juba, South Sudan, last week during a six-day visit to Africa, the Archbishop of Canterbury offered encouragement to South Sudanese Christians in their role supporting reconciliation in the conflict-torn country

Archbishop Justin has reassured Christians in South Sudan they are not forgotten by Christians elsewhere and urged them to see themselves as “God’s people of reconciliation”.

In a sermon preached at All Saints Cathedral in the South Sudanese capital Juba on Thursday last week, the Archbishop said Christians in England pray daily for Sudan and South Sudan and its Christian people. “Your courage and faith gives us courage and faith,” he said.

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(BBC) South Sudan conflict: 3.7m in 'need of food', says UN

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South Sudanese Church ”˜an example’ in speaking as one for peace, says Archbishop Welby

Arriving in the capital Juba, Archbishop Justin said: “All our prayers are with the people of South Sudan at this testing time for the young nation. I have come with my wife, Caroline, and my colleague Joanna Udal who has long experience here, bringing the greetings, love and encouragement of your brothers and sisters in Christ around the world.

“The South Sudanese Church is an example to us all in its consistent speaking with one voice for peace, for unity and to an ending to the violence so horrifically perpetrated against so many people. With the South Sudanese Church leaders, I urge political differences to be set aside for the sake of the urgent task of bringing healing and reconciliation.”

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Abp Welby to visit South Sudan and Great Lakes Region

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will visit South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo to meet Primates of the Anglican Communion, in a five-day visit to the region starting on Thursday this week.

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(Time) South Sudan Faces An Uphill Struggle for a Longer-Term Peace

The temporary truce signed on Thursday by South Sudanese politicians may have halted hostilities that, according to United Nations and humanitarian estimates, have resulted in the deaths of more than 10,000 people ”“ and displaced half a million more ”“since fighting began in December, but a sustainable peace remains far off, diplomats and experts say. “The country can fall apart; it’s sort of half unglued now. Even if there’s a ceasefire, who knows if that’s going to stick as it doesn’t resolve any the underlining problems,” said Tom McDonald, who worked on Sudan issues as U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe during the Clinton presidency. “A lot is at stake because we have invested time and diplomatic capital and lots of money there to stand up this country.”

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(BBC) South Sudan rivals sign ceasefire agreement

South Sudan’s government and rebels have signed a ceasefire agreement after talks in Ethiopia.

Under the deal, signed in a hotel in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, the fighting is due to come to an end within 24 hours.

In the past week, government forces have recaptured the two main cities under rebel control.

More than 500,000 people have been forced from their homes during the month-long conflict.

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(CSM) Enough Project team–The South Sudan strife ”“ followed by satellite

For the past month, South Sudan has been engulfed in an expanding civil war. Unlike Sudan, where the Satellite Sentinel Project pioneered its work (and with a few exceptions) South Sudan’s government has been allowing both journalists and humanitarians to operate around the country, even as violence spreads.

As a result, harrowing videos, interviews, and photographs documenting the crisis have been emerging for weeks.

The United Nations estimates that over 395,000 people have been displaced by violence, 352,000 internally, of which 60,000 have sought shelter at UN compounds around the country. Another 43,000 are refugees in neighboring countries including Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda, with an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 people from South Sudan arriving daily in Uganda alone.

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(Reuters) U.S. officials worry over South Sudan violence, may cut aid

South Sudan risks losing hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. aid if its government and rebel leaders do not end a wave of violence in the fledgling democracy formed with Washington’s strong support, U.S. officials said on Thursday.

Three weeks of fighting, often along ethnic lines, is ringing alarm bells in Washington over the prospect that the conflict could spiral into full-blown civil war, spawning atrocities or making South Sudan the world’s next failed state.

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Archbishop Welby urges prayers as violence mounts in South Sudan

The Archbishop of Canterbury has urged the Anglican Communion to pray and advocate for an end to the intense fighting which has overtaken large regions of South Sudan in recent days.

Over 500 people are feared dead in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, where fighting first broke out. The violence has since spread, particularly affecting Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile States.

Archbishop Justin wrote to Anglican primates and moderators… [yesterday] at the request of Archbishop Daniel Deng Yak, Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan.

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