A young Christian couple in Sudan who have two children together are facing 100 lashes on charges of “adultery” after a sharia (Islamic law) court nullified their marriage following the husband’s conversion to Christianity.
The couple, 34-year-old Hamouda and 25-year-old Nada from Al Jazirah state, got married in 2016 when both were Muslims. In 2018, after they had been married for two years, Hamouda became a Christian and the couple faced severe backlash from their community. At the time, Nada’s Muslim family filed a case in a sharia court to have her marriage to Hamouda dissolved. In 2021, Nada also converted to Christianity and returned with their two children to her husband. However, conversion to Christianity is still not socially acceptable in Sudan’s Muslim community.
Nada’s brother charged the couple with adultery under Article 146 of Sudan’s 1991 criminal law based on the Sharia court’s annulment of their marriage, leading to the couple’s arrest last August. Their lawyer was quoted saying; “The court has interrogated the couple after two of the witnesses told the court that the marriage between the couple is illegal. As a result, they are accused of adultery.”
In the case of adultery by an unmarried person, Article 146 calls for a sentence of flogging and expulsion from the area. If the convicted person is married, adultery is punishable by death by stoning under Article 146.
The couple were released on bail four days after the arrest. Their trial has yet to take place.
Pray for Hamouda, Nada and their children as they face persecution from their family and community.
Pray that the couple’s trial will be conducted fairly and that they will not be convicted of adultery.
Pray for continued growth in their marriage and their faith, especially for Nada as a new Christian.
Source: International Christian Concern, VOM Australia