Meriam Ibrahim, her husband and her two children met with Pope Francis, who thanked her for her steadfast witness to Christ.
Darfur United consists entirely of refugee players from a variety of camps and tribes who set aside their difference and come together for soccer.
A Sudanese Christian doctor freed from death row on charges of apostasy Monday is not yet free after authorities detained her at a Khartoum airport.
Meriam Yahya Ibrahim, 27, was arrested Tuesday after she attempted to leave Sudan using South Sudan emergency papers, including a U.S. visa, according to reports.
She was apprehended along with her husband, Daniel Bicensio Wani, an American citizen of South Sudanese origin, and their two children, a 20-month-old son and a 1-month-old daughter.
NCR Today: Boston parishioners hold round-the-clock vigil at closing parish; network emerges to save Catholic schools in Philadelphia; Presbyterian Church votes to divest from Israel.
Meriam Yahya Ibrahim, the Sudanese Christian doctor sentenced to death for apostasy, has been set free after an appeal court canceled the death sentence, according to the state-run news agency SUNA.
Ibrahim, a 27-year-old Roman Catholic and mother of two, had been sentenced to hang in April for abandoning her Muslim faith, triggering global outrage and condemnation, including a campaign with more than 1 million signatures.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has strongly condemned the death sentence against Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, a Sudanese Christian woman accused of apostasy. Ibrahim was sentenced to death by hanging on May 15 after she refused to recant her faith. She also was sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery because although she was raised a Christian, the court considers her a Muslim and therefore not married to her Christian husband.
Sudanese Christians have condemned the sentencing of a Christian woman to death by hanging after she married a Christian man.
Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, 27, refused to recant her Christian faith as ordered by the court.
A doctor who is eight months pregnant and currently in detention with her 20-month-old son, Ibrahim was charged with adultery last year. Recently, the court added an apostasy charge when she declared her Christian faith in court.
"This is very disturbing," said Roman Catholic Auxiliary Bishop Daniel Adwok of Khartoum.
At its creation, the Republic of South Sudan was welcomed with enthusiastic arms. But the country has found itself embroiled in destabilizing political battles.
A decade later, the Darfur crisis is far from over, despite attempts by the Sudanese government to minimize what has happened.
A Catholic priest who fled the recent fighting in South Sudan remains hopeful that a cease-fire will hold but worries that an ethnic militia called the White Army may refuse to stop fighting.
"They aren't an organized force, so they may attack again because they don't understand," Fr. Edward Joseph Deng told Catholic News Service in a telephone interview from Juba, the capital of South Sudan. "The rebel soldiers will stop if they're given that order, but the White Army could do anything."