Pregnant Woman Gets Death Sentence for Being Christian

Sudan sentences Meriam Yehya Ibrahim Ishag for apostasy
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2014 2:13 PM CDT
Pregnant Woman Gets Death Sentence for Being Christian
Sudanese Christians hold Christmas mass in Khartoum, Sudan, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012.   (AP Photo/Abd Raouf)

Meriam Yehya Ibrahim Ishag is married, pregnant, and a Christian—a normally happy state of affairs that is proving deadly in Sudan, which has sentenced her to die for it. A Sudanese court convicted the 27-year-old of apostasy on Sunday, reports the BBC, alleging that she abandoned Islam. "We gave you three days to recant but you insist on not returning to Islam," said the judge. "I sentence you to be hanged to death." It doesn't end there: She's also been sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery because Sudan does not recognize her marriage to a Christian man, reports NBC News.

The sentencing has attracted protesters, been condemned by Amnesty International as "appalling and abhorrent," and gotten the attention of Western embassies, which are urging religious tolerance. The sentence, however, isn't quite as draconian as it appears at first blush: The hanging wouldn't take place until two years after she gives birth, and the BBC notes that Sudan rarely carries out death sentences anyway. Ishag's lawyers plan to appeal. (More Sudan stories.)

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