News

Christian woman freed after death sentence ruled 'faulty' in Sudan

(CNN) -- A Sudanese woman has been freed from prison a month after being sentenced to die by hanging for refusing to renounce her Christian faith.

"I am a Christian," Meriam Yehya Ibrahim told the judge at her sentencing hearing in May, "and I will remain a Christian."

An appeals court in Sudan ruled that a lower court's judgment against the 27-year-old was faulty, her lawyer, Mohaned Mustafa El-Nour, said Monday. He declined to elaborate.

An international controversy erupted over Ibraham's conviction in May by a Sudanese court on charges of apostasy, or the renunciation of faith, and adultery. Ibrahim was eight months pregnant when was sentenced to suffer 100 lashes and then be hanged.

"I'm so frustrated. I don't know what to do," her husband, Daniel Wani told CNN in May. "I'm just praying." Wani, uses a wheelchair and "totally depends on her for all details of his life," Ibrahim's lawyer said.

Ibrahim was reunited with her husband after getting out of custody, her lawyer said Monday.

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Persecution is common, religious freedom endangered today, Pope says

“Nowadays, persecution of Christians is stronger than it was in the first centuries of the Church, and there are more Christian martyrs than in that time,” Pope Francis said in June 20 audience with participants in a conference on religious freedom.

Noting that persecution remains widespread even “1700 years after the edict of Constantine, which granted Christians the freedom to publicly profess their faith,” the Pope encouraged participants in the conference to help persuade world leaders of the need to protect religious freedom.

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Charity’s €100,000 to help people fleeing ISIS - Bishop concerned for the future of Christianity

PEOPLE fleeing Mosul following the attacks by ISIS militants are to receive emergency help from Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, amid growing signs that the country is lurching towards civil war. 

The grant of €100,000 will provide food and shelter for many of the 3,000 Christians who poured into the mainly Christian villages in the Nineveh Plains outside Mosul. 
They fled in the wake of the city’s capture by Wahhabi militants the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). 
The news comes as the charity for persecuted and other suffering Christians was told by Auxiliary Chaldean (Catholic) Bishop Saad Sirop Hanna of Baghdad that civil war would spell “the end…, especially for us Christians”. 
Speaking on Wednesday, 18th June from the Iraqi capital, Bishop Sirop said: “We fear a civil war. 
“If the various different opposing internal parties do not succeed in finding an agreement, then we must expect the worst. 
“Another war would mean the end, especially for us Christians.” 

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Foreign Intervention Not the Answer - Archbishop of Baghdad

As Baghdad's 7 million residents stockpile food, hard cash and prepare for siege under imminent attack by ISIS Jihad extremists, the Archbishop of Baghdad, the Most Rev Jean Sleiman has spoken out against foreign intervention and has told the international community to instead "think of the common good, not their own interest." 

In an interview with the Catholic Charity, Aid to the Church in Need, Archbishop Sleiman stressed the need for "political consensus" amongst Iraqis leaders and said this was critical in overcoming the ISIL militants which have already taken the city of Mosul, Kirkut, Fallujah and other cities and towns in Northern Baghdad.

"I hope Iraqi leaders will find a consensus about how to tackle this situation or there will be a tragic outcome," he said. "I don't know what will happen next. Of course the military will resist ISIS but who knows if it will be strong enough. It is a possibility the terrorists will succeed. But we don't know."

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Cardinal Koch, Archbishop Welby Launch New Anglican-Catholic Web Site

Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and the Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, on Sunday launched the new Website of the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM).

The website brings together all the agreed statements by Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogues from around the world.  It can be accessed at www.IARCCUM.org.

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