WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has condemned Sudan's imprisonment of Meriam Ibrahim, a 27-year-old mother of two who's been sentenced to die for her Christian faith.
His statement comes just one day after protesters took to the streets Thursday outside the White House to draw attention to her plight.
Kerry said the United States is deeply concerned about Ibrahim's imprisonment, saying the Sudanese government should repeal its laws that go against universal human rights.
"She and the children should be reunited at home with her family rather than held in prison on charges of apostasy," he said.
More than 375,000 people have signed our petition demanding that Sudan release Ibrahim and for the Obama administration to step in to help her and her children.
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His statement comes after protesters from some 40 groups marched and rallied outside the White House Thursday, accusing the president of not doing enough to push Sudan to free Ibrahim.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, attended the rally and pointed out Ibrahim, who is a daughter of a Muslim father, has been sentenced to die because she herself is a practicing Christian.
"Very simply the fact that she is a Christian, that she attends a local Catholic church, is deemed a crime there," Cruz said of Sudan. "And for that crime, she has been sentenced to 100 lashes and then to hang by the neck till dead."
Meriam's young son is imprisoned with her, as is her newborn baby daughter. Some of the protesters calling for their freedom wore red links as they marched and demonstrated.
"These represent the chains that Meriam Ibrahim has been wearing since she was imprisoned in Sudan," Penny Nance, with Concerned Women for America, told CBN News.
"She actually was forced to give birth while wearing them. So we wanted to wear them today in solidarity with our Christian sister, who was imprisoned only because of her faith," she added.
Meriam is married to an American citizen, making her children eligible for American citizenship. That fact is one reason why the protesters can't believe the American president hasn't done more for this mother and her children.
President Barack Obama may risk losing a little prestige by speaking out if Sudan ignores him. But protesters said the situation is so dire, that's a risk well worth taking.
"The White House has been silent on Meriam and her two children who have been in a Sudanese prison for months, a prison that is deadly," Tony Perkins, with the Family Research Council, told CBN News. "This time of year, one infant a day dies, and Meriam is in there with a 20-month-old and now one that is about two weeks old."
"What the government of Sudan is proposing to do to this young mother is grotesque, it is immoral, it is horrendous, it is wrong. And we should speak out with one voice in unison to free Meriam Ibrahim," Sen. Cruz said.
Demonstrators plan to take their protest to Sudan's embassy in Washington D.C., Friday.