US Mostly Absent in Meriam Ibrahim Release
Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese mom who refused to recant her Christian faith even in the face of death, will soon head to the United States.
The news comes one day after she and her family were allowed to leave the U.S. Embassy in Sudan, where they took refuge after her release from prison.
Meanwhile, critics note that although Ibrahim's husband and children are American citizens, it was the Italian government and the Vatican that negotiated her release, not the United States.
Tina Ramirez, founder of the religious freedom organization Hardwired, said that's unacceptable.
"It is a matter of U.S. foreign policy under the International Freedom Act of 1998 that we do care about religious freedom whether it's an American citizen or not an American citizen," Ramirez told CBN News.
"But the fact that her husband is an American citizen makes this case more unfortunate that the U.S. didn't get involved from the beginning," she said.
Meriam Ibrahim is safely in Rome but is her ordeal over? Tina Ramirez, founder of Hardwired, explains what's next and how you can continue to help below:
While Ibrahim was in prison the Canadian government provided her with an air conditioning unit and some fans, and the British organized meetings with her legal team.
The United States was absent from those meetings.
Lawmakers and advocacy groups contend her case reveals the administrations ambivalence toward religious freedom.
Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention, said this is not the time for the United States to be taking a lax stance on religious freedom.
"The entire world seems to be aflame right now with persecutions of not only Christians but minorities in all sorts of places," Moore said.
Moore said the president's indifference is further exemplified by his failure to appoint a new U.S. ambassador for international religious freedom -- a position that's been vacant since October.
"That sends a signal to the rest of the world that the U.S. isn't really taking this issue seriously," he said.