A Sudanese husband and wife who converted to Christianity face 100 lashes for “adultery” because an Islamic court reportedly annulled their marriage.
Hamouda and wife Nada (their surnames withheld) were to have a hearing today (March 31) in which their defense counsel and Christian clergy planned to explain why the pair believe they are still married. A Sharia (Islamic law) court annulled their marriage after Hamouda became a Christian, explained the legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom International.
Hamouda may also face a one-year exile.
The couple married as Muslims in 2016. After Hamouda became a Christian in 2018, Nada’s family had Sharia court dissolve the marriage.
In 2021, Nada became a Christian and returned with her children to her husband. As Christians, the couple did not consider the Sharia court’s annulment to be legitimate, ADF International reported. Nada’s brother informed a Sudanese criminal prosecutor, alleging adultery.
Even though Sudan decriminalized apostasy in 2020, “… the interplay between Sharia and civil courts in this case shows how those who are hostile to (Christian) converts can weaponize the legal system to go after people who haven’t done anything wrong,” said Sean Nelson, legal counsel for ADF International.
Less than 4.5% of Sudan’s population is Christian, ADF reported.
Sudan is No. 13 on Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List of places most difficult to be a Christian.