- Trying to square the circle
The opening days of the Synod on the Family have revealed distinct differences of opinion between the participants. How can their commitment to church teaching be matched with compassion for those who struggle with it?
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The husband of a Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan has denied rumours that she is to be released.
Daniel Wani, whose wife Miriam gave birth to their daughter Maya in prison last week, said that the rumours were media speculation.
"No Sudanese or foreign mediator contacted me. Maybe there are contacts between the Sudanese Government and foreign sides that I'm not aware of," he told the BBC.
Mrs Ibrahim, 27, was sentenced to be hanged last month because she refused to give up her faith. She is believed to be a practising Catholic. On Saturday an under-secretary at Sudan’s foreign ministry, Abdullahi al-Azreg, told the BBC that Mrs Ibrahim would be freed, but a subsequent clarification said that she would only be freed if an appeals court ruled in her favour.
On Saturday the Prime Minister David Cameron condemned Mrs Ibrahim’s sentence, saying: “The way she is being treated is barbaric and has no place in today's world.”
In a joint statement, the Sudanese Churches, including the Sudan Bishops’ Conference, said the charges against Mrs Ibrahim were false. They called on the Sudanese Government to free her from prison, according to the Nairobi-based social communications department of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA).
The World Council of Churches also condemned the ruling. In a letter to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, they called it "egregiously unjust".
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has also called for the death sentence to be dropped. The Christian Muslim Forum, of which he is a Patron, said in a statement that it was vital that people should enjoy freedom of religion and called for “compassion in this situation”.
Archbishop Welby said he “wholeheartedly endorse[d]” the call from the Christian Muslim Forum.