This is almost verbatim the confession of faith most used by the Holy NeoMartyrs under the Ottoman Muslim tyranny:
She appeared again before the court and declared openly and emphatically: “I am a Christian, and I will remain a Christian.”
Pray for Meriam
by Fr Daniel C. Kovalak — OCA.org — May 22, 2014
“...for once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light, (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true)”—Ephesians 5:8-9
Here’s a widely-reported and very troubling “breaking news” story from today’s headlines. It’s about a 27-year-old woman in Sudan, Meriam Ibrahim. She was born to a Muslim father and an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian mother. Her father abandoned the home when she was a young child. Nevertheless, in Sudan, children are expected to follow the religion of their fathers.
Three years ago, Meriam married a professing Christian man and about a year later gave birth to a son. She’s now expecting another child and is eight-plus months pregnant.
Sudanese law prohibits women from marrying non-Muslims, although men can marry whomever they want without any penalty whatsoever. So on May 11, 2014 (ironically Mothers’ Day) Meriam was convicted of apostasy for rejecting Islam and was given four days to recant, which would save her life.
But unlike countless others who’ve faced similar sentences in Sudan and elsewhere, she refused to renounce her faith and convert to Islam. After four days, on May 15, she appeared again before the court and declared openly and emphatically: “I am a Christian, and I will remain a Christian.”
In response, Judge Abbas Khalifa pronounced his verdict. “I sentence you to be hanged to death.” As if this weren’t horrific enough, Meriam was also convicted by the court of committing “zena”—an implication of adultery for marrying a non-Muslim. And for this alleged crime, she was also sentenced to receive 100 lashes—before the imposition of the sentence of hanging!
Currently, with her 18-month-old son and the child in her womb, Meriam remains shackled in a prison, awaiting the carrying-out of the sentences.