By BosNewsLife Africa Service
Italy's vice-minister for foreign affairs, Lapo Pistelli, flew out with Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag and her family.
KHARTOUM/ROME (BosNewsLife)-- A Sudanese mother who was spared a death sentence for refusing to renounce Christianity has been flown to Italy after more than a month in the US embassy in Khartoum, Italian officials confirmed Thursday, July 24.
Meriam Ibrahim, 27, and her family flew on an Italian government plane, accompanied by Italian minister Lapo Pistelli.
The mother-of-two, who is married with an American citizen, arrived in Rome amid mounting international pressure on Sudan to let her go.
Ibrahim gave birth to her second child while shackled in a Sudanese prison, after her death sentence by hanging was overturned.
The court also overruled the 100 lashes she was about to receive for embracing Christianity and marrying a Christian.
Yet, authorities prevented her from leaving and detained Ibrahim for a second time.
She eventually sought refuge in the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, the capital.
Officials defending Sudan's policies have pointed out that her father is Muslim and according to the country's strict version of Islamic law she is also Muslim and cannot convert.
However Ibrahim made clear she wanted to remain faithful to Jesus Christ, who she accepted as Lord and Savior, said her husband Daniel Wani, who became a U.S. citizen and tried to bring her to America.
She reportedly told sheiks visiting her in Khartoum's Omdurman Federal Women's Prison: "I'm pretty sure I'm not going to change my mind."
While rights activists welcome her release, they say the case underscores a wider crackdown on minority Christians in the heavily Islamic nation.
Sudan's Islamist President Omar Bashir has warned that he wants to implement Islam more strictly, after the heavily Christian southern region broke away to become South Sudan, the world's youngest country.