Another report appearing in May further highlighted the U.S. government’s indifference. Deborah Peters, a Christian teenage from Nigeria girl told of how Boko Haram came to her household and slaughtered her father and brother because they refused to convert to Islam. After abusing her, they tied her up and left her in a state of shock between the two corpses. Emmanuel Ogebe, the human rights attorney who helped Peters come to the United States after the murders, said that visa requests filed on Peters’ behalf were denied “multiple times” in 2011, with the State Department citing no family ties in the U.S. as the reason. The incident became public only this May.
Similarly, a month earlier, the United States Institute for Peace brought together the governors of Nigeria’s mostly Muslim northern states for a conference in the U.S., but the State Department blocked the visa of the region’s only Christian governor, an ordained minister, citing “administrative” problems.
U.S. President Barack Obama did not “publicly broach the subject of religious freedom” during talks with Saudi King Abdullah, despite a letter from 70 members of Congress urging him to “address specific human rights reforms” both in public and in direct meetings with King Abdullah. It was “remarkable that the resident could stay completely silent about religious freedom…. as well as other human rights concerns, with King Abdullah.” — International Christian Concern advocacy group.
Al-Shabaab Islamists publicly beheaded a mother of two girls and her cousin after discovering they were Christians. The two daughters of one of the women, ages 8 and 15, “were witnesses to the slaughter,” sources said, with the younger girl screaming for someone to save her mother.
“You will regret why you left the prophet’s religion.” — Threatening phone message, Kenya.
The deplorable state of religious freedom in the Islamic world really came to the fore in May with the arrest, imprisonment, and death sentencing of a pregnant Christian wife and mother on the accusation that she had left Islam for Christianity. On May 15, Meriam Ibrahim of Sudan, after repeatedly refusing to convert to Islam, was sentenced to being flogged with 100 lashes, followed by being hanged for apostasy.
During her 6-month imprisonment, with her one-year-old son by her side, she gave birth to another child. The girl was born with disabilities due to the harsh conditions of the prison cell in which she was delivered, and the chains with which her “apostate” mother was still shackled as she gave birth.
Because Meriam Ibrahim’s plight made it to the mainstream media, however, Sudan released Ibrahim and her children in June.
Before her release, Islamic clerics were often sent to her cell where they repeatedly pressured, and threatened her with death, to convert to Islam. In a recent interview with Megyn Kelly on Fox News, Ibrahim said: “My faith was the only weapon that I had in these confrontations with imams and Muslim scholars because that’s what I believe. Faith means life. If you don’t have faith, you’re not alive.”