Cruz: 'We Need President to No Uncertain Terms Send Meriam Home’

By Penny Starr | June 19, 2014 | 4:14 PM EDT

Meriam Ibrahim, sentenced to death in Sudan for apostasy, is married to Daniel Wani, a Christian who holds American citizenship. They have a son and a second child is due to be born shortly. (Photo: Gabriel Wani/Facebook)

( – Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told attendees at a Faith and Freedom Coalition (FFC) event on Thursday that Americans and President Barack Obama should speak out on behalf of Meriam Ibriham, a Christian mother jailed in Sudan with her two young children who has been sentenced to death because of her faith.

“We need to speak out 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,’” Cruz said on the opening day of FFC’s Road to Majority conference in Washington, D.C.

On May 15, a Sudanese court sentenced Ibriham to be lashed 100 times for adultery – a judgment made because the state does not recognize her marriage to Daniel Wani, a naturalized U.S. citizen and a Christian.

Ibriham was sentenced to death for apostasy for refusing to denounce her Christian faith and take up the Muslim faith of her father.

Although Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement saying the Sudanese government should respect Ibrahim’s “freedom of religion,” Obama has not spoken publicly about her plight.

Cruz told the attendees that they and the president should not be silent about Ibriham’s fate.

“For all of us, our 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,” Cruz said. “Meriam has been told, ‘You can be spared this horrific sentence if only you will renounce Christ.’

“And Meriam has told her captures, ‘I cannot, and I will not renounce Christ,’” Cruz said.

“Every one of us needs to be lifting Meriam Ibriham up in prayer, but every bit as importantly, we need leadership in America.

“The president of the United States should stand up and speak on Meriam Ibrahim’s behalf,” Cruz said, noting that not only is Ibriham married to a U.S. citizen, but her two children through their father’s status are also U.S. citizens.

“We need to speak out against these atrocities,” Cruz said. “We need to speak out 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.’

Cruz began his remarks by talking about the threats to religious liberty here and around the world.

“What I want to talk to about today is one aspect of liberty that is imperiled like never before and that is precious and cherished by every one of us, and that is religious liberty,” Cruz said.

“There is a reason why the very first provision of the Bill of Rights – the very first phrase in the First Amendment protects the religious liberty of every American, because we were formed by people from all across the world fleeing religious oppression and coming to a land where every one of us could seek out the Lord God Almighty with all of our heart mind and soul,” Cruz said.

Cruz was one of a number of lawmakers who spoke on the opening day of the three-day conference. Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also spoke, as did Ambassador John Bolton and former Rep. Allen West (R-Fla).

Other speakers scheduled for the conference include Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Republican N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain.