Church in Chains – 5 May 2022 (excerpts)
A Baptist couple could face 100 lashes after being charged with “adultery” because a Sharia court had annulled their marriage due to the husband’s conversion to Christianity.
Hamouda (34) and Nada (25) were Muslims when married in 2016, but when Hamouda became a Christian in 2018, Nada’s family won a Sharia court decision to annul the marriage. Apostasy was then punishable by death, though now decriminalised in 2020 after Islamist president Omar al-Bashir was ousted in 2019.
In 2021, Nada also converted to Christianity and returned to Hamouda with their two children, whereupon her brother accused them of adultery.
Police arrested the couple in August 2021. They were charged under Sudan’s 1991 criminal law, based on the Sharia court’s annulment of their marriage. Article 146 calls for a sentence of flogging and expulsion from the area in the case of adultery by an unmarried person, and death by stoning if the person is married.
They were detained for 4 days before being released on bail. Their next hearing is for 12 May.
Their lawyer stated, “I told the court that the marriage is legal.” He added that the couple is facing growing threats from hard-line Muslims, in particular Nada’s brother.