Most of the Christian world is in an uproar over Sudan’s death sentence of a Christian woman. Meriam Yehya Ibrahim is the daughter of a Sudanese father and Ethiopian mother. When she was six years old, her father left the family and she was then raised by her mother who is also a Christian. The Sudanese government however, still considered her to be a Muslim since her father was a Muslim.
Ibrahim met an American man, Daniel Wani, and they fell in love and got married. Wani is also a Christian and this according to the Sudanese government is a crime punishable by death. They gave Ibrahim a choice of renouncing her Christian faith, which also includes denouncing her marriage which the Sudanese government says is illegal, or face a death sentence.
She has just given birth to a baby girl in prison that the Sudanese government says they will not give to the father. They are also still holding the couple’s two year old son and have renewed their vow to flog and hang Ibrahim for the crime of apostasy. The Sudanese Embassy in Washington DC released a statement saying:
“The Case of Mariam is neither religious nor political, It is Legal
“This case remains a legal issue and not a religious or a political one
“The Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan in Washington DC has noticed with regret some of the official statements and media coverage on the case of the Sudanese citizen Mariam Ibrahim Yahia; as some of them have mistakenly accused the government of Sudan of violating human rights by depriving Mariam of her civil rights as a Sudanese citizen…
“This case remains a legal issue and not a religious or a political one. It is unwise and dangerous to politicize the issue at hand to spur religious tension between the two peaceful faiths with similar foundations. Notably, it is important to emphasize that freedom of choice is the cornerstone of both Islam and Christianity.”
If freedom of choice is a cornerstone of Islam, then why are so many Christians forced to convert or be murdered in Muslim countries throughout the world?
But is the United States really any different than Sudan?
Christians are being persecuted in US Courts for their faith, yet the courts and government says it has nothing to do with religion. Look at how President Obama has been forcing Christians to go against their faith or face stiff fines and possible jail time with Obamacare and the contraception mandate. Christian businesses are being forced to go against their faith by serving homosexuals or face stiff fines and penalties.
In one of the latest cases, Masterpiece Bakery in Lakewood, Colorado has been told that they have to accept orders to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples, even though Colorado doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages. The notice of mandatory compliance was issued by the Colorado Civil Rights Division.
Prior to the mandate issued by the Colorado Civil Rights Division, Administrative Law Judge Robert Spencer had ordered Phillips to violate his faith or face fines and/or jail time. Phillips had appealed Spencer’s ruling, prompting the action taken by the Colorado Civil Rights Division.
Attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom are defending bakery owner Jack Phillips who is a Christian and refused to make the wedding cakes for same-sex couples because of his faith. The attorneys commented:
“The government … seek[s] to impose a new belief system upon Jack [Phillips], one that is fundamentally at odds with his conscience and his liberty.”
The attorney’s argued:
“[Phillips] did not discriminate ‘because of’ sexual orientation [but acted] in accordance with the provisions of the Colorado Constitution, state law and the public policy of the state.”
“[Phillips’] conduct and expressions in declining to design and create a wedding cake are protected by the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and by Article II, Section 10 of the Colorado Constitution.”
“[The case] involves both actual and symbolic speech [and Phillips and his company] cannot be forced to create and convey a message with which they disagree.”
However, the Colorado court and Civil Rights Division disagreed, just like so many other courts and civil rights organizations throughout the US. They are forcing Christians to violate their faith or face harsh penalties, just like the Sudan government is doing. Both governments say it has nothing to do with religion, just that it’s a matter of legal issues.
Yet it is a matter of religion. Meriam Ibrahim has been told to denounce her Christian faith and embrace Islam or be flogged and hanged. Jack Phillips and other Christian business owners are being told to denounce their Christian faith by acting against it or face harsh penalties. To me, the United States is no different than Sudan as both are openly persecuting Christians because of their faith.