A pregnant 27-year-old Sudanese woman was sentenced to death by hanging Thursday for apostasy after marrying a Christian man and refusing to convert to Islam. Mariam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag also faces charges of adultery.
Ibrahim, who was born to a Muslim father but raised Orthodox Christian by her mother, was first sentenced on Sunday, but she was given until Thursday to change her mind and convert. She refused to do so, Al Jazeera reports.
“I am a Christian and I never committed apostasy,” Ibrahim said.
Ibrahim was found guilty of apostasy — the abandonment of one’s religious faith — because she was born to a Muslim father and married a Christian man. The adultery charge came as Islamic law prohibits Muslim women from marrying outside of their religion, a rule which effectively voided the marriage.
The death sentence will reportedly be carried out after Ibrahim gives birth.
Western embassies and human rights groups have urged Sudan to let Ibrahim choose her religion freely. Following the verdict, about 50 people protested against the sentence outside the courtroom.