Meriam Yahya Ishag and her family landed safely in Italy last night. She flew on an Italian government plane and was accompanied by Italian Minister, Lapo Pistelli. Upon landing, Meriam was welcomed by Italy’s Foreign Minister, Matteo Renzi.
Within hours of arriving, Meriam met with the Pope. Here is a video of her exiting the plane onto Italian soil and a photo of the Pope blessing her.
Meriam was greeted by “jubilant scenes” in Rome. “Ms Ibrahim and her husband Daniel Wani thanked the pontiff for his support and he in turn thanked her for staying true to her Christian faith despite the threat of execution if she did not recant.”
Meriam is a blessed symbol for all those Christians who, historically and currently, have refused to convert to Islam and who were–who still are–being slaughtered all over the Arab and Muslim world. Christians in flight from Mosul, Iraq were stripped of their last pennies and forced into refugee camps, exile, and poverty just as Jews, Ba’hai, Hindus, and Zoroastrians once were as Islamic conquerors bore down upon them.
But Meriam got out. After more than a year of serious torment; and more than a year of serious international activism which included American politicians, (who only yesterday held a hearing on her behalf in Congress); Christian and interfaith leaders, such as Laurie Jalbert and Dominic Sputo; various European governments, including Italy; diplomatic intervention by Pope Francis; after a series of death sentences, lawsuits, last minute detention, more lawsuits–Meriam was allowed to leave Sudan.
The infidels have triumphed. But even at this moment of triumph, we still remember all those left behind, those hundreds of thousands for whom we have not, and perhaps could not, launch such intense international efforts. See what an effort was required to free just one woman and her family. Imagine what would be required to free all infidels and other prisoners of conscience trapped in today’s Islamic world.
But first, let us praise all those who worked on freeing Meriam and God, who after all, played a role in this tremendously gripping drama.