By Russell Moore
News reports have gone back and forth all weekend about whether or not Sudan will release our sister in Christ, Mariam Yahya Ibrahim. What’s not up for dispute is that Mariam, who just gave birth in prison chains, is condemned to die for “apostasy,” that is violating Sharia law by becoming a Christian. She’s also charged with “adultery,” because her marriage to a Christian man isn’t recognized. As we pray for her, I’d like us to reflect on what we see in her.
Mariam’s husband tells the press that she refused, despite all she has been through, to renounce the name of Jesus. For her, her freedom, even her life, aren’t worth tossing aside her allegiance to the Lord Christ. In this, Mariam is a true daughter of Sarah. The Apostle Peter commends such as those who do not “fear anything that is frightening” (1 Pet. 3:7).
It’s not just that Mariam is displaying the sort of fearless faith Peter commends. It’s also that she’s displaying the sort of fearless faith Peter himself lacked, at least at first. Simon Peter, when faced with potential execution, denied even knowing his Lord. Jesus didn’t leave him there, of course, but found him hiding out in Galilee, and fueled in him the sort of heroic faith that was willing to face even the worst thing he could imagine: being bound and taken where he didn’t want to go (Jn. 21:18).
And that’s just the point.