A Sudanese court has given a 27-year-old woman until Thursday to abandon her Christian faith or face a death sentence, judicial sources have said.

Mariam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag, who was born to a Muslim father, was charged with apostasy, as well as adultery, for marrying a Christian man, something prohibited for Muslim women to do and which makes the marriage void.

The human rights group, Amnesty International, said Ishag was raised as an Orthodox Christian, her mother’s religion, because her Muslim father was absent.

Ibrahim’s case was the first of its kind to be heard in Sudan, the Reuters news agency reported. A final ruling will be announced on Thursday.

Sudanese rights activists sharply condemned the accusations and called on the Sudanese government to respect freedom of faith.

“The details of this case expose the regime’s blatant interference in the personal life of Sudanese citizens,” Sudan Change Now Movement, a youth group, said in a statement.

Western embassies in Khartoum also expressed “deep concern” over the case.

“We call upon the government of Sudan to respect the right to freedom of  religion, including one’s right to change one’s faith or beliefs,” the embassies of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands said in a joint statement.

The embassies urged Sudanese legal authorities “to approach Ms Mariam’s case with justice and compassion that is in keeping with the values of the Sudanese people”.

Speaking to the AFP news agency, Ahmed Bilal Osman, Sudan’s Information minister, said: “It’s not only Sudan. In Saudi Arabia, in all the Muslim countries, it is not allowed at all for a Muslim to change his religion.”

President Omar al-Bashir’s government is facing a huge economic and political challenge after the 2011 secession of South Sudan, which was Sudan’s main source of oil.

A decision by Bashir last year to cut subsidies and impose austerity measures prompted violent protests in which dozens were killed and hundreds were injured.




By Erica Nochlin, Colin Miner, KATU News and Staff Published: Mar 3, 2014 at 11:37 AM PST Last Updated: Mar 4, 2014 at 7:49 AM PST

PORTLAND, Ore. – Rescuers pulled a man who had been trapped in a trench for about 3 and a half hours in Cedar Hills to safety Monday afternoon.

The man, named Danny and in his 20s, had been doing sewer work with two co-workers in front of a house when part of the trench collapsed, burying him under two feet of dirt.

After he was pulled from the trench, he was taken to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in fair condition. But later he was downgraded to serious condition and was taken into the intensive care unit, according to a hospital official.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said the incident happened just before 11 a.m. along the 1700 block of SW Bowmont Street. Firefighters from various agencies including Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue and the Portland Fire Bureau rescued the man at about 2:30 p.m.

The worker was trapped in a 11-foot deep trench when a cave-in occurred. He was lying in the bottom of the trench working to fix a pipe while another co-worker was standing near him in the hole. The third co-worker was on top watching.

His co-workers removed enough dirt from the hole to allow Danny to breathe.

Rescuers brought in a machine to suck dirt out of the trench so they could safely pull the man out. They also cut up pieces of wood to put down the sides of the hole and hold the dirt back and gave Danny an IV for fluids and had bottles releasing oxygen in the hole.

“He’s a very religious guy, and he was shouting prayers,” one of his co-workers said.

His co-worker said Danny looked at them just before going into the ambulance, smiled and said, “I love you guys.”

The man was working for Apollo Drain & Rooter Service Inc. of Gresham. The company sent KATU the following statement:

“First and foremost, our employee seems to be doing well for which we are extremely grateful.

“Next, safety takes top priority here at Apollo Drain. As such, we take every safety precaution on our excavation job sites including strict adherence to all OSHA standards. We believe this was an unfortunate freak accident possibly due to the recent overabundance of rain in our area. All indications from emergency personnel are that the quick actions of his fellow workers likely saved his life.

“Finally, we extend our heartfelt appreciation to all of the emergency workers that worked tirelessly to not only safely extricate him, but to keep him calm in what was surely a frightening situation.”

According to OSHA, it will send two investigators to the site on Tuesday.





 (India)—According to a report by Mercy Ciniraj of Paul Ciniraj Ministries, a couple in India—Mr. Ulahannan and Mary, his wife—attended the Catholic Church.  Although they were Church members, they did not take kindly to the occasional Christian evangelization efforts by Believers from Paul Ciniraj Ministries (PCM). On one of those occasions, a few PCM workers visited them handing out Christian tracts. This angered Mr. Ulahannan who took a box of matches and burned the tracts in front of the ministry workers, telling them to get out of his house.

One evening after work, Ulahannan was returning home when he walked past a Gospel convention. Spitting at it, he went on, when suddenly he “heard the Word of God” from the convention speaker that Jesus prays for sinners—and to confess before the Lord. Mercy says, the words struck him, and he stopped and began to listen. That night what sleep he managed to get was troubled with bad dreams and a feeling of “something worse” that was going to happen to him. He tried to pray, but he didn’t know how, said Mercy. “So he just called Jesus by name and repeated, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, save me Jesus.”

Mercy describes what happened the next day: When he was going for his job, he had to cross the railway line. He was walking on the railway platform, [when] the train forced him down to the railway line and he fell on the tracks and people saw the train running over him, as the train passed by. People were in great terror. But after train passed, he got up with such great strength and jumped on the platform, not even a single scratch on his body. He told with great tears that at that moment when the train ran over him he screamed unto JESUS. 

And just then he felt like a baby being held carefully. He felt Someone hugging him tight, and felt [something] soft as a cushion around him [which] disappeared as the train left.  “I know it is Jesus [Who] saved me,” he said.

Ulahannan and Mary had no Bible. Paul Ciniraj Ministries provided them a Bible. Now they read the Bible, praying regularly and [have] removed all alcoholic items from their life. [They are] also now involved with Paul Ciniraj Ministries to distribute Gospel tracts and Bibles.   




 In his final moments, 8-year-old Tyler Doohan managed to rescue six people — including two younger children — from a burning mobile home in upstate New York, authorities said.

A last-ditch effort, however, to save his disabled grandfather cost the boy his life. His body was found next to his grandfather, whom Tyler considered a best friend. “It makes me really proud, it really does, but I just want him back,” Tyler’s mother, Crystal Vrooman, told CNN affiliate WHAM.

Tyler, an East Rochester resident, was staying at the home of relatives in the nearby town of Penfield on Sunday night when he noticed a fire in the single-wide trailer, said Penfield Fire Chief Chris Ebmeyer.As firefighters and sheriff’s deputies responded to 4:45 a.m. emergency call, Tyler was able to wake six other people in the small trailer, including two more children, ages 4 and 6, the fire chief said.Then Tyler went back into the blaze to help his grandfather, who was disabled and would have been unable to get out of the home on his own, Ebmeyer said. “By that time, the fire had traveled to the back of the trailer,” said Ebmeyer. “Unfortunately they both succumbed to heat and smoke.”The pair were found together on a bed in the back room. It appeared that the boy was trying to lift his grandfather from the bed when he was overcome by the smoke and fire, the fire chief said. Tyler and his grandfather were like best friends, Vrooman said. An online fundraising campaign on had raised more than $28,000 as of Wednesday for Tyler’s funeral and his family.

Another relative was found dead in a front room, although his exact relation to Tyler was not clear.

Earlier, fire officials had released a mistaken version of the incident, where the grandfather’s and uncle’s locations were switched, due to incorrect information provided by a family member. Tyler’s mother said the boy broke away from his aunt outside the burning trailer and ran back inside to try to save his grandfather. “All I could think about is how he couldn’t breathe,” Vrooman told WHAM.

She added: “I’m just so grateful that he went with people that he loved. He didn’t go alone. “The cause of the blaze is still under investigation but believed to be accidental. The conditions of the six survivors were not immediately available. Ebmeyer said the trailer had no working smoke detector. He said that with so many people in one small mobile home, one alarm could have easily woken everyone in time to escape. There was at least one space heater inside the trailer, the fire chief said.

Several pets — including dogs, cats, a rabbit and hamsters — also died in the fire, Ebmeyer said.

The Penfield Fire Company — a volunteer unit — intends to create a public service initiative to spread awareness and get smoke detectors out to the public, he said. Meanwhile, Richard Stutzman Jr., interim superintendent of the East Rochester School District, where Tyler attended fourth grade, issued a statement: “In bravely and selflessly giving his own life, he was able to save the lives of six others — and he truly is a hero.”


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