Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese mother who was sentenced her to death for apostasy, has shared how, while in prison, a Muslim woman risked her life to help hide her most prized possession - a Bible.
Ibrahim, 29, made headlines after she was sentenced to death in May 2014 because she married a Christian man, Daniel Wani, an American citizen. Although she was raised by her Christian mother, Ibrahim was considered by Sudanese courts to be a Muslim because it was her father's faith, thus making her guilty of apostasy.
She was given three days to convert, but refused, arguing that she had been a Christian all her life, and could not rescind or alter her genuine personal faith at the request of a court. Thus, she was put in prison with her 20-month-old son, Martin.
"I could not lie. My children would have lost all respect for me if I did something like that," she said, according to Aleitia.
Eight months pregnant at the time of her sentencing, she was forced to give birth to her daughter, Maya, while she was in shackles at the medical clinic in the Omdurman Federal Women's Prison. Ibrahim recalled the horrific prison conditions she was forced to endure.
"At night it was hard to sleep. I had made a bed with my blanket for my son, and I watched over him because I was afraid for him," she said.
One night, when she had to go to the toilet, she asked a fellow prisoner, a Muslim, to look after her son, and the two women soon became friends. Meriam even gave her a Bible, which she had managed to smuggle through prison. Taking a tremendous risk, her fellow inmate hid it for her, and was amazed to see how precious the book was to Ibrahim.
"This is my Bible," the young woman recalled telling her cellmate. "It is because of this book that I am in prison."
At night, between the guards' two rounds, Ibrahim would read her Bible: "While Muslims had condemned me to death and whipping, because of my religion, a Muslim woman helped me to read the word of God," Meriam said.
Under pressure from the international community, the Khartoum authorities released the young mother in 2014. Following her release, Ibrahim was able to help her fellow inmate, an illegal alien from Somalia, who needed money to get out of prison.
Moved by Ibrahim's testimony, the woman converted to Christianity, and is now married one of her benefactress's friends.
Today, Ibrahim runs a charity, the Mariam Ibraheem Charitable Foundation, which raises awareness of global persecution in the U.S. and provides assistance to women throughout the world.