Praise and Prayer

Praise: In response to international pressure, a Sudanese appeals court has overturned a death sentence imposed by a lower court on an 18-year-old illiterate Christian woman. Abok Alfa Akok, who lives in Southern Darfur, became pregnant during her husband's six-month absence in Khartoum. She told police who arrested her that she had been raped. However, the alleged rapist, a Muslim, denied the charge and was acquitted because Akok was unable to produce the four male witnesses required by sharia (Islamic law) to validate her version of events. A criminal court in Nyala City, Southern Darfur, subsequently found her guilty of adultery, and on Dec. 8 she was sentenced to death by stoning. The appeals court overturned her sentence and recommended a much lighter "rebuke" sentence.