About the Book:
Author: Mariam Ibraheem
Release date: March 8, 2022
Sentenced to Death for Her Beliefs
Mariam Ibraheem was finally rising above her difficult childhood and building a new life for herself. Born to a Muslim father and an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian mother, she grew up in poverty in a refugee camp in Sudan. Her father left the family when she was only six, and her mother raised her in the Christian faith. Left without family after the deaths of her beloved mother and sister, she was beginning to move past her grief—earning a medical degree, marrying the man she loved, and having a baby boy.
But one day in late 2013, her world was shattered when an unknown relative on her father’s side reported her to the police. The authorities insisted she was Muslim because of her father’s background. She had broken the law by marrying a Christian man, and she must renounce her Christian beliefs and abandon her marriage and her son. Under intense pressure, Mariam repeatedly refused to deny her faith. She was charged with apostasy and adultery, and she was imprisoned with her nine-month-old, Martin, on Christmas Eve. There, awaiting sentence, she learned she was pregnant with her second child. A few months later, Mariam was sentenced to 100 lashes and death by hanging by a Sharia court.
Shackled is the stunning true story of a courageous young mother who was willing to face death rather than deny her Christian faith. Mariam Ibraheem took a stand on behalf of all people who suffer from religious persecution and all women who are maltreated because of their gender and beliefs.
Follow Mariam’s story from refugee camp to life under Islamic law, through imprisonment and childbirth while shackled, to her remarkable escape from death following an international outcry and advocacy involving diplomats, journalists, religious freedom activists, human rights groups, and even Pope Francis.
I was a bit hesitant about signing up for Shackled. I could tell by reading the synopsis that it would be a challenging read. I do not enjoy reading about people being abused, and people hurting each other. At the same time though, it sounded like it would be an encouraging story about showing how God’s truth and love triumph over evil. I was right on both counts.
What a story. There are two things that really stood out to me in this book. One, of course, was the physical abuse. Being circumcised as a young girl, the horrible things her father did to her mother before leaving the family when Mariam was only six, the way she was treated in prison, and the abuse she suffered while giving birth. On the other side, was the contrast she felt between Islam and Christianity. Though Muslims claimed to have a religion of mercy, she only felt love while with Christians. That love was so real to her that she never considered denying Jesus. I was also touched by her experiences with Jesus while in prison. This is an absolutely amazing story of a courageous woman, who stood up against all odds to maintain her faith in Jesus and protect her children. If you’ve ever been even a little bit curious about the difference between Christianity and Islam, read Shackled. Mariam lived with that contrast.
There is so much more I could say about this book. It has left quite an impression on me. All I can say, though, is read it for yourself. Don’t miss this one. Your faith will be challenged and strengthened. A quote that stood out to me, to wrap up this review: “The friends of Sudanese suffer as much as their enemies because hate cannot be confined to one person or one people group. Once it is allowed to live, fester and grow, it lashes out at everyone and everything.”
WARNING: Mariam’s father’s abuse of his wife in chapter 6. Vivid description of female circumcision in chapter 8. Physical abuse in chapter 47. There is more; these are the ones that were hardest to read about.
I received a review copy of this book from the author, and these are my honest thoughts about it. Links may be affiliate links, which will benefit Esther’s website if purchases are made through them. If you buy this book, please put a review on Amazon. There are no reviews there, and I am not allowed to post one.
About the Author:
In 2014, Mariam Ibraheem of Sudan was sentenced by a Sharia court to 100 lashes for adultery because she had married a Christian man, and death by hanging for refusing to renounce her Christian faith and follow Islam. Mariam was imprisoned with her young son while she was pregnant with her second child, a daughter, to whom she gave birth while still shackled in the prison. After an international outcry, Mariam was eventually freed through the help of Pope Francis, the United States, Italy, and the embassies of various other governments. Today, Mariam advocates on behalf of others who are victims of religious persecution and also for women who suffer from the personal prison of abuse. She is the cofounder and director of global mobilization for the Tahrir Alnisa (“Setting Women Free”) Foundation, which serves women and children impacted by domestic abuse and religious-motivated violence. She also serves on the board of directors for Anti-Trafficking International.
Eugene Bach is a pseudonym for a member of the Chinese underground church who, for security reasons, does not wish to be identified. He has been working with the underground church in China for twenty years, helping them to establish forward missions bases in closed countries around the world, including Iraq and Syria. Eugene leads the Chinese missions movement Back to Jerusalem, which provides essential support for Chinese missionaries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, and he has written books about the underground church in China, North Korea, and Iran. His books with Whitaker House include China and End-Time Prophecy; I Stand with Christ; ISIS: The Heart of Terror; Kidnapped by a Cult; Leaving Buddha; Smuggling Light; and The Underground Church.
More from Mariam:
Shackled is the stunning true story of a courageous young mother whose plight led to international outcry on her behalf. Mariam Ibraheem was willing to face death rather than deny her Christian faith, taking a stand on behalf of all people who suffer from religious persecution and all women who are maltreated because of their gender and beliefs.
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