After Meriam Ibraheem, converted to Christianity from Islam, she was sentenced to death for apostasy in Sudan and gave birth to her second child in prison.
She has now shared her story and described how she secretly read the Bible while she was behind bars.
Another inmate who was a Muslim helped to keep her secret, hiding her Bible from the guards.
Meriam was eventually released by a Sudanese court in 2014, after she was jailed and sentenced to death for converting to Christianity and marrying a Christian man.
She had been told that she would not be freed unless she renounced her faith, but she refused to do this. Her son Martin, just 20 months old at the time, was jailed with her and her daughter Maya was born while she was in prison.
Speaking to the Christian Post during an annual prayer night for the Persecuted Church last Saturday, Meriam related how it had been difficult to sleep at nights in prison. She would try and use her blanket to create a “soft place” for her son to sleep, and also stay awake to protect him from harm.
During the night, while awake, she would read her Bible, which was smuggled into prison by a guard who she paid to bring it in. “I had to hide it with someone else, with one of the women I know,” she said.
The woman, who was a Muslim, would also watch over Miriam’s son for her when she went to the bathroom.
The woman had asked her why she looked so peaceful when she read the Bible.
Meriam told her: “This is the Bible. This is why I am in prison, because I believe what is in this book.”
This woman was later also released, and has now, herself, become a Christian.
Miriam was told that she could have been released for reciting the Muslim statement of faith, but she refused.
“I didn’t want to say that,” she said. “I am not going to lie. My kids are not going to respect their mum if I did something like that.”
Miriam is now a human rights and religious freedom advocate in the US and has and launched her own charity, the Mariam Ibraheem Charitable Foundation, which raises awareness of persecution and helps women.
- Give thanks for Miriam’s faith and courage whilst in Prison and for the witness this was to other prisoners.
- Give thanks for the Muslim woman who also came to know Christ. Pray for her faith to grow in the midst of the difficulties of being a Christian in Sudan.
- Give thanks that both Miram’s children are healthy and have no long term problems from their time in prison with Miriam.
- Pray for Miriam and her work in raising awareness of persecution. Pray for many to be challenged to pray and to speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.
- Pray for other Sudanese believers who are in prison, that charges against them will be dropped, and they will be released and return back to their families and churches. Pray they will be encouraged in their faith even while in prison.
- Pray for Christian in Sudan, as they face daily oppression and persecution. Pray for their protection, for protection over their families and for opportunities to meet together to encourage each other in their faith.
Psalm 102 vs 19 – 20: “he looked down from his holy height, from heaven the Lord looked at the earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die;“