Perhaps you have never been to a demonstration before. Here in Washington, DC, we see and participate in all kinds.
Last week, June 12 and 13, along with our partner, Mute No More, an organization dedicated to spurring Christians to advocacy for the persecuted church around the world, we organized two demonstrations on behalf of Meriam Yahya Ibrahim, the young Sudanese Christian wife and mother who has been sentenced to hang for the crime of apostasy. By the day of The White House demonstration, Thursday, June 12, we had 46 organizations as co-sponsors in solidarity for this courageous woman and her two babies, in prison with her in Khartoum.
Demonstrating at The White House (see slideshow above) is quite different than demonstrating at the Sudan Embassy (which we did on Friday, June 13). Protesting in front of The White House means both members of Congress and heads of large organizations will likely join you, which in turn provides more media coverage. We were honored to be joined by both Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and U.S. Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ). Our speakers included Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, and Penny Nance, the president of Concerned Women for America. Media coverage included Time, World, Fox News Breitbart’s “The Conversation” blog, The Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal, World Net Daily, The Christian Post, Religion News Service, and others.
Neither media nor members of Congress tend to show up when protesting at the Sudan Embassy — unless, of course, George Clooney is going to join you! The leaders and staff members of organizations that have long familiarity with Sudan — such as International Christian Concern, the Persecution Project, Barnabas Aid, Open Doors, IRD, and others show up for Embassy demonstrations. We had a broad array of Sudanese participants–from the far north of Nubia, from western Sudan’s Darfur, from Beja land in eastern Sudan, from Blue Nile State, and from the nation of South Sudan. And Egyptian American Coptic Christians came to show their solidarity with Meriam and with other victims of Sharia, recruited by Coptic Solidarity, one of our co-sponsors.
Meriam’s cause is not just a Sudanese issue, not just a human rights issue, not just a women’s rights issue, not even just a religious freedom issue. It is a moral issue that should be embraced by all. Our demonstration at the Sudan Embassy was a “demonstration” of just that truth — even down to the cars passing by on Massachusetts Avenue that joined by honking their horns in solidarity. (See slideshow below)
Want to join Meriam’s cause? Here are several ways you can help:
AWARENESS: Use the hashtag #RescueMeriam on Twitter and Facebook to help amplify Meriam’s voice. Follow @MuteNoMoreOrg, @RescueMeriam, and @TheIRD on Twitter and like Rescue Meriam to stay updated on the latest developments in Meriam’s case.
ADVOCACY: Visit the Rescue Meriam website and send a letter to your member of Congress advocating for Meriam. You can also sign the White House petition – we only have a week left to get to 100,000 signatures!
Text Credit: Faith McDonnell
Photo Credit: Jonathan Fuller