Martin and Maya, the two children of Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, the Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death in 2014, have received United States citizenship.
As reported by some of the media, among them L’Osservatore Romano, Ibrahim will also be issued a Green Card, permanent status authorizing a person to live and work in the U.S.
The Sudanese woman was arrested for apostasy and adultery in February 2014 while she was five months pregnant and sentenced to death in Khartoum.
The Sudanese judges found Meriam guilty converting to Christianity when she married Daniel, a Christian, in 2011, despite the fact her father was a Muslim. It was a marriage considered “illegal” according to the Sharia (Islamic Law), for which the young woman was also sentenced to suffer 100 lashes for adultery.
The judges gave the young mother three days to renounce her Christian faith but, after a long talk with a Muslim religious person in the courtroom, Meriam confirmed her faith and her innocence, stating: “I am a Christian and I have never committed apostasy.” She was then sent to prison together with her 21-month old son Martin where. On May 27, she gave birth at the internal Clinic to her daughter Maya.
The case sparked outrage throughout world and mobilized calls for the woman’s freedom. There were numerous international campaigns and appeals that, in the end, led to her release and the cancellation of her capital punishment by Sudan’s Court of Appeal.
Ready to leave Sudan and fly to the United States with her family, Meriam was stopped by the police at the airport for bureaucratic reasons connected with her passport and blocked for some 48 hours in the country. Ibrahim and her family took shelter at the American Embassy in Khartoum.
The family was finally released and met with Pope Francis on July 24th, 2014 before arriving to the United States.