A call for the release of Meriam Ibrahim, her family, and others detained for their religious beliefs

In response to the word that Meriam Ibrahim and her family have been arrested, and in partnership with Presbyterian World Mission’s area coordinator on Africa, we sent the following letter to the Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Sudan to the United Nations:

Your Excellency:

On behalf of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), I urge you to release Meriam Ibrahim, her family, and any other persons being held in detention based on their religious beliefs.  Presbyterians joined voices from around the world in advocating for Ms. Ibrahim’s release and were disheartened to learn she and her family have been rearrested this week.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) affirms:

  1. Religious freedom is a universal human right.
  2. Religious freedom is a human right that is necessarily tied to other human rights. It is tempered by the complementary requirements of social justice, human dignity, and respect for others’ religious freedom.

Freedom of religion implies freedom of conscience.
Religious freedom requires recognition of cultural and religious diversity as basic to human reality.
Religious freedom calls for watchfulness in order that conflicting values not undermine the universality and indivisibility of human rights.
Religious freedom (and religion) should not be used to conceal economic, political, class, or racial struggles.

Based on these affirmations, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) works for religious freedom worldwide. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has approximately 1.7 million members and partner churches and organizations in more than 100 countries. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) holds status with the Department of Public Information as well as special consultative status through the Economic and Social Council at the United Nations and is represented in the United Nations community by the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations.

We continue to hold Meriam, her family, and all people held in detention for their religious beliefs in prayer.

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