Sudanese Christian Meriam Ibrahim to arrive in the U.S. today

AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca
Meriam Ibrahim, from Sudan, right, holds her baby girl Maya, accompanied by Italian deputy Foreign Minister Lapo Pistelli, holding her son Martin, after landing from Khartoum at Ciampino's military airport, on the outskirts of Rome.

Persecuted Sudanese Christian Meriam Ibrahim will arrive in the United States Thursday, the Associated Press reported.

Ibrahim and her family have been in Europe since leaving Sudan last week. They will fly into Philadelphia on Thursday, and travel to Manchester, New Hampshire from there.

Ibrahim's husband, Daniel Wani, is a biochemical engineer in the New England city, and the family will start their new lives there. The couple has two children, Martin, 21-months-old, and Maya, two-months-old.

The family fled Sudan after Ibrahim's death sentence for apostasy was reversed on appeal. She had been imprisoned since January on the charge, and gave birth to Maya while incarcerated.

Although she was raised by an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian mother, Ibrahim is considered Muslim under Sharia law because that is the faith of her estranged father. She was arrested after her family filed charges against her. The case was dismissed on June 23.

Wani's brother, Gabriel, said that the family is doing well, and are eager to reach New Hampshire.

"We're just going to go and bring them home," he told AP. "They want to come home and they want to rest."

New York pastor Rev. William Devlin, who has been helping the couple, said that he spoke to Ibrahim on Wednesday, and she expressed some sadness over leaving her home country for good.

"She is leaving everything she knows behind," he said.

Pastor Monyroor Teng of Sudanese Evangelical Covenant Church in Manchester said that Ibrahim's plight has given hope to many others.

"People are really happy to receive them when they come home," he said.

"It's a miracle to me. I didn't think that something like this would happen because in Sudan, when something happens like that, it's unreal. It happens to so many people.

"Maybe, who knows, I'm praying for those [other] ladies who are in jail and those who have died."

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