Obama should call for Meriam Ibrahim's release, says Sen. Cruz

Sudanese woman faces death sentence for apostasy.

Sen. Ted CruzU.S. Senate

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz told Faith & Freedom Coalition "Road to Majority 2014" conference attendees Thursday that President Obama needs to call for Meriam Ibrahim's release.

"We need leadership in America," he said, according to the Christian Post." The President of the United States should stand up and speak on Meriam Ibrahim's behalf."

Ibrahim was sentenced on May 15 to 100 lashes and death by hanging for marrying a Christian and refusing to renounce her faith. Although she was raised by an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian mother, Ibrahim is considered Muslim because this was the faith of her estranged father. Her 20-month-old son and two-week-old daughter are in prison with her.

Ibrahim's husband, Daniel Wani, is an American. The case is currently being tried in appeals court.

Both the United Nations and Secretary of State John Kerry have condemned Ibrahim's sentence, but President Obama has not spoken out against the case.

"We need to speak out against these atrocities," Sen. Cruz said.

"We need to speak with one uniform, powerful, clarion voice for freedom, and we need the President of the United States to say in no uncertain terms, 'Send Meriam home.'"

Sen. Cruz also said that the White House should do more for Pastor Saeed Abedini, imprisoned in Iran since September 2012.

Abedini, who converted to Christianity in 2000, was visiting his home country to help build an orphanage when he was arrested for proselytizing. He has been beaten by inmates and guards while incarcerated, and was temporarily transferred to a hospital after suffering internal injuries from the assaults.

President Obama called for Abedini's release in February at the National Prayer Breakfast.

"We pray for Pastor Saeed Abedini," Obama said. "He's been held in Iran for more than 18 months – sentenced to eight years in prison on charges relating to his Christian beliefs.

"And as we continue to work for his freedom today, again, we call on the Iranian government to release Pastor Abedini so he can return to the loving arms of his wife and children in Idaho."

Sen. Cruz commended Abedini and Ibrahim for standing firm in their Christian beliefs in the face of persecution.

"For all of us, faith is an incredible part of who we are. And yet few, if any of us in this room have ever had faith tested like that," he stated.

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