Meriam Ibrahim Honored at 2014 Values Voter Summit


by Sharon Rondeau

Meriam Ibrahim and Tony Perkins

(Sep. 29, 2014) — A young Christian woman sentenced to death by flogging and hanging in Sudan last May but freed after international outcry in late June was honored at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit over the weekend (52:34).

FRC’s slogan is “Standing for faith, family & freedom.”  The organization supports traditional marriage, freedom of religion throughout the world and in the U.S. military, pro-life causes, and strong Christian faith.

Several congressmen, Sen. Ted Cruz, and the 21-strong, homeschooling Duggar family attended and spoke at the event in Washington, DC, among others.

Meriam was introduced by FRC’s president, Tony Perkins, whose organization worked tirelessly to free her from prison from the time her story came to light in Morningstar News.  After she was freed on June 23, the family was stopped by security guards at Khartoum’s international airport and forced to seek refuge in the U.S. embassy for nearly a month before being allowed to leave for the United States.

On July 31, the family arrived in New Hampshire, where Daniel had been living and working, before returning to Sudan in an attempt to free his pregnant wife and son.

The “Cost of Discipleship” award, a first-time honor in the form of a large formal document framed and displayed on an easel, was presented to Meriam, who took the stage in a brilliant light-blue gown with her husband, Daniel Wani, who is wheelchair-bound from multiple sclerosis.

Despite the harsh treatment she received at the hands of her home country in prison with her toddler son, Meriam refused to renounce her Christian faith under intense pressure from imams who visited her daily.  Imprisoned at five months’ pregnant, she gave birth on May 27 to a daughter while chained to the floor of her cell as a death-row inmate.

Although she does not speak English, Meriam began her address to the audience, “God is good, all the time” with a bright smile.  Reverting to her language, Meriam thanked Perkins and several members of the U.S. House of Representatives through an interpreter for securing her freedom and saving her life.

During her remarks, Meriam recalled that Daniel was allowed to visit her in prison for only ten-minute periods.  She related the difficulties her toddler son Martin experienced while imprisoned with her, including being unable to play outside like other children.  Meriam said she told Martin during times of distress, “The Lord is with us.  This life is full of trials.”

Meriam is Daniel’s caretaker, and she worried about him constantly while she was imprisoned.  While asking for the public’s support, Meriam also intends to lend her support to other persecuted Christians around the world, including in Sudan.

Calling her a “sister,” Meriam reached out to the wife of Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen and Christian pastor who has been imprisoned in his home country of Iran for two years under extremely harsh conditions.  Despite beatings and a lack of medical care, Abedini wrote a recent letter to his eight-year-old daughter telling her that although he had not yet been released, “Lord Jesus Christ is in control.”

On Monday, WNG reported that Meriam’s five Sudanese attorneys have been forbidden to leave the country as retaliation for Meriam’s freedom, which came about as the result of intense international pressure on and condemnation of the Sudanese government.

After the presentation to Meriam, Perkins quoted President Ronald Reagan, who had said, “Without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure.  If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”

Over the last several days, numerous articles have reported that a California charter school has banned all books with Christian themes or written by Christian authors, justifying its decision by stating that “sectarian materials on our state-authorized lending shelves” “are inappropriate” for schoolchildren.  A sense that Christian persecution in Middle Eastern countries has dramatically increased since Obama involved the United States is pervasive among some members of Congress and Middle East scholars.

Exhibitors at the Values Voter Summit included the American Family Association, Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR), The Heritage Foundation, Freedom Alliance, National Right to Life, Salem Communications, and many others.

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