- 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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Sudanese authorities and U.S. officials in Khartoum are negotiating to allow a Christian Sudanese woman, recently spared the death penalty for “apostasy”, to leave Sudan.
Meriam Ibrahim and her family have been given sanctuary at the US embassy in Khartoum for the past week, since their release from custody after being detained at Khartoum airport on 24 June on charges of falsifying ID documents. She, her husband Daniel Wani – who is a Christian from South Sudan and a U.S. citizen – and their two young children sought refuge in the US embassy, a heavily guarded property on the outskirts of Khartoum, after Ibrahim received death threats.
Ibrahim is charged with providing false information in relation to a South Sudanese travel document she used to try to leave the country, a day after an appeal court overturned her apostasy conviction and released her from prison. On 25 June Sudan's foreign ministry summoned the U.S. and South Sudan charges d'affaires over the issue. The talks now appear to be aiming to get her out of Sudan on a Sudanese passport.
Mrs Ibrahim gave birth to her second child, a baby girl called Maya, in prison in May. She gave birth while shackled with chains, which she said may have caused Maya to be born disabled.
"I couldn't open my legs so the women had to lift me off the table. I wasn't lying on the table," she told CNN on Tuesday. "Something has happened to the baby. I don't know in the future whether she'll need support to walk or not."