Blog Post

Miriam Ibrahim to Reside in New Hampshire

Miriam with popeThe family of Miriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese Christian mother who was sentenced to death and spent nine long months in prison because of her faith, has announced that they plan to relocate to the United States and take up residency in Manchester, New Hampshire.

CNN is reporting that Ibrahim, along with her husband Daniel Wani and their two children, are planning to become residents of the United States and will join a large South Sudanese community in Manchester where her husband and members of his family live.

"His plan all along was to bring his family to New Hampshire," said Gabriel Wani, Daniel's brother, who currently lives in Manchester.

Even though this had long been Daniel's plan, Gabriel had no idea when - or if - this would come about after Miriam's release from prison was followed by new charges and another month of waiting in the U.S. Embassy for the freedom to travel.

Last week, Daniel called Gabriel on Wednesday and said, "We're still waiting. We don't know what's going on."

The very next morning, he received a pre-dawn phone call from Daniel telling him, "We're out of the country."

The family were spirited out of Sudan alongside Italian vice minister for foreign affairs, Lapo Pistelli on Thursday when they were flown to Rome and were blessed by Pope Francis.

The family is expected to arrive in New Hampshire after acquiring the proper passports.

The Sudanese population of Manchester, which numbers close to 500, has been talking and praying about the case for months now and plan to give the family a hero's welcome. Ever since news broke on Thursday that Miriam was out of the country, people from the Sudanese community have been stopping by Gabriel Wani's home to congratulate him and his wife and three daughters.

"A lot of people have been waiting for them," Wani said. "The whole community wants to welcome them."

The charges stemmed from relatives who claimed Miriam was an apostate who abandoned Islam for Christianity, then married a Christian. Under sharia law, she is considered Muslim because her father was a Muslim even though he left the family when she was a child and was raised by her Ethiopian Christian mother. Because sharia does not recognize her marriage to Daniel, she was accused of both apostasy and adultery and was sentenced to death for her crimes. The sentence was eventually overturned and she was set free, then re-arrested at the Khartoum airport for carrying allegedly false papers. New charges were also brought against her but before she could be re-tried, she was able to flee the country.

Even though they are now safely out of Sudan, threats still follow them. As CNN reports, a Sudanese Islamic jihadist group on Monday released a statement threatening Miriam and vowing to carry out what it said was the justified death sentence against her.

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