Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Obianuju Ekeocha

8/3/2014 (5 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

I pray that beyond our global rejoicing, we would be adorned with even a portion of the heroic virtue of Meriam Ibrahim's authentic feminism, purified and forged in the fiery crucible of religious persecution.

You, my African sister, have become a lightning rod to the radical feminists of our times who repudiate and denigrate every virtue that you epitomize. Within your body, you have borne the marks and scars of a true Christian,a wife, a mother and a martyr, and in this way you have shown us what it means to be an empowered and liberated woman, and I\'m glad to say it is certainly not what the western radicals and ideologues are telling us. They try to tell us that for African women to be empowered, they need to be \"sexually liberated\", selfish, individualistic and fiercely autonomous, but you Meriam , by your own example , have taught us that the liberated African woman is the woman who is free to live and practice her faith, love her husband , and protect her children (born and unborn). A liberated woman is a woman of faith and family. This is the truth that must be spoken throughout Africa.

Pope Francis giving a blessing to Meriam and her youngest child

Pope Francis giving a blessing to Meriam and her youngest child

Highlights

By Obianuju Ekeocha

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/3/2014 (5 months ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Obianuju Ekeocha, Nigeria, culture of life, marriage defense, Meriam Ibrahim, feminine genius, new feminism,


LONDON, England (Catholic Online) - The great news of Meriam Ibrahim's arrival in Italy filled me with so much joy and elation. The images of this graceful and beautiful African woman, babe in hand, stepping out of the plane was a sight to behold especially after her unspeakable pain and suffering in the Sudanese prison.

So I thought I should, in a very simple letter, write down my reflections and thoughts of gratitude for this resilient daughter of Africa whose freedom is being celebrated by the entire world today.

On behalf of all African women, I thank you Meriam Ibrahim, for showing the world the indomitable courage that is at the core of authentic femininity. I say this because your pain and persecution were tied so firmly to your femininity. And so your triumph was a most powerful witness to life, to motherhood, to marriage, to love and to faith.

You are indeed a true picture of faith and virtue, a true symbol of strength and resilience. You are, in my humble opinion, a real woman of substance, an African woman of substance and your story fills my heart with courage and audacity in my own vocation to defend our African culture of life,marriage, motherhood, faith and family, no matter how difficult, no matter how shameful and no matter how painful for me.

For under intense persecution, you refused to deny your Christian faith. Under the threat of the extremists, you stood as a witness and a martyr.

Under the pain of incarceration, you would not deny your husband or renounce your marriage.

Under the heavy shackles of prison you still had the strength and defiance to give life,to give birth.

Under the certainty of a death sentence you had the determination to nurse your precious little baby.

By your powerful example, the world has come to witness the resilience of a young African woman who in the worst conditions bore heroic witness to the virtues of faith, marriage, and motherhood.

Your unspeakable struggles in the last few months have been a most radiant ray of light that has pierced through the darkest clouds to contradict a modern world that is telling us that faith means nothing, that religious freedom is not all that important, that marriage is whatever we want it to be, that motherhood should be a choice we make under the most conducive situations, that our babies should only be born at the most convenient of times. 

You, my African sister, have become a lightning rod to the radical feminists of our times who repudiate and denigrate every virtue that you epitomize . 

Within your body, you have borne the marks and scars of a true Christian,a wife,a mother and a martyr, and in this way you have shown us what it means to be an empowered and liberated woman, and I'm glad to say it is certainly not what the western radicals and ideologues are telling us.

They try to tell us that for African women to be empowered, they need to be "sexually liberated", selfish, individualistic and fiercely autonomous, but you Meriam, by your own example, have taught us that the liberated African woman is the woman who is free to live and practice her faith, love her husband , and protect her children (born and unborn). A liberated woman is a woman of faith and family. This is the truth that must be spoken throughout Africa.

Today, the world watched you as you breathed the fresh air of freedom and as you made your first stop, not at the Whitehouse, but rather at the House of St Martha (Casa Santa Marta) which is also the house of the Holy Father Pope Francis. Instead of the presidential handshake that many others would have craved first, you chose the papal handshake. And instead of the political reception you chose the apostolic benediction for you and your family. You chose the Pope over the POTUS!
You are a woman of great wisdom and strength and indeed Africa raises, praises and celebrates you.

We rejoice with you and for you.

We rejoice that you are free at last.

And out of our rejoicing, I pray that more women (from our Africa and from every corner of the world) will reflect deeply on your experience so as to emulate you.
I pray for women of faith to rise up and bear courageous witness even to the point of martyrdom. 

I pray for women who are pregnant to choose life for their babies at all cost.

I pray for women who are wives and mothers to stay true to their vows and vocations.

I pray that beyond our global rejoicing, we would be adorned with even a portion of the heroic virtue of Meriam Ibrahim's authentic feminism, purified and forged in the fiery crucible of religious persecution.

-----

Obianuju Ekeocha is an African woman, living and working in the United Kingdom as a Specialist Biomedical Scientist. She is also the founder of Culture of Life Africa, an initiative dedicated to the promotion of a Culture of Life in Africa  through the dissemination of good information, sensitization and education. She has written several articles including the "Open Letter to Melinda Gates"  and "Africa in the redefined world (An Open Letter to President Obama)" Her passion and privilege is to continue to work in defense of the sanctity and dignity of life within Culture.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More Africa

NO IMPROVEMENT: Egypt falls far in protecting female population, report says Watch

Image of Egyptian authorities had failed to prevent, investigate and punish violence against women and girls, according to a new report.

By Kieran Guilbert, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Token legal reforms have failed to end widespread public, domestic and state violence against women and girls in Egypt, who face sexual abuse, mob attacks and torture in custody, a rights group report said on Wednesday. LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Despite ... continue reading


'Tip of the iceberg' Boko Haram leader warns MORE DEATHS are coming in latest video Watch

Image of Leader of the dreaded terrorist group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"This is just the beginning of killings," warns Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau in Boko Haram's latest rant video. Following Boko Haram's most deadliest massacre, killing 2,500 people in Baga, the terrorist group is after those who have shown pity on France and the ... continue reading


Criminal network roils in the Sahel: Arrests made by Algerian law enforcement Watch

Image of The investigations of the A.N.P. or People's National Army of Algeria have led to the arrest of criminals operating in the Sahel region.

By Kaci Racelma, Catholic Online

The investigations of the A.N.P. or People's National Army of Algeria have led to the arrest of criminals operating in the Sahel region. Operating in the areas of Tamanrasset, Bordj Badji Mokhtar and Guezzam in the Sixth military Region, twelve smugglers - ... continue reading


Algerian army standing fast against tide of terrorism Watch

Image of Accomplished

By Kaci Racelma, Catholic Online

The Algerian army, confronted by the harsh realities as experienced in the Sahel and Nigeria, with large swathes of land under the iron fist of jihadists, remains steadfast in its stance against terrorism. The eradication of terrorist groups is essential in ... continue reading


More than a million Nigerians may have been forced to flee due to Boko Haram, U.N. says Watch

Image of The militants' attacks may force even more people to flee, both internally and to Cameroon, Niger and Chad, which could destabilize the region.

By Misha Hussain, Thomson Reuters Foundation

More than one million people may have been forced to leave their homes in northern Nigeria by the five-year-old insurgency of Islamist sect Boko Haram, a United Nations agency said. DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The militants' attacks may force even more ... continue reading


BOKO HARAM MARCHES ONWARD: Attacks in Cameroon cause thousands to flee for their lives Watch

Image of Troops from Chad began to arrive on the same day, to support their fight against the militants.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ten thousand Cameroonians have fled with their lives after incursions from the dreaded terrorist group Boko Haram along the border regions with Nigeria's Borno State. The Islamic militant group has massacred over 2,000 people in two northeastern towns over the ... continue reading


When will the West wake up? Nigerian Bishop says only Western powers can defeat Boko Haram and save Christians from genocide Watch

Image of Boko Haram has waged a war of terror in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon, often targeting Christians and killing them or burning down their houses of worship.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme of Maiduguri, who leads a diocese in north-eastern Nigeria, says that the only way in which Boko Haram -an Islamist terrorist organization operating in northern Nigeria - can be defeated is by intervention from Western powers. LOS ... continue reading


BREAKTHROUGH? Peace talks in Mali could lead to end to terrorism in Sahel region Watch

Image of The Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ramtane Lamamra has reiterated his country's efforts to settle the conflict in the north of Mali in talks scheduled for next month.

By Kaci Racelma, Catholic Online

The African nation of Algeria has been working with both Malian government officials and Tuareg rebels in order to end the roiling civil war in Mali. The Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ramtane Lamamra has reiterated his country's efforts to settle the ... continue reading


Niger declares war on Christianity! Boko Haram incites violence following Charlie Hebdo publication Watch

Image of Niger erupted in protests which resulted in 10 deaths, hundreds of injuries and burning of churches and other Christian institutions over the depiction of the Prophet Muhammad on the cover of Charlie Hebdo.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Following the recent depiction of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad on the cover of French magazine Charlie Hebdo, Niger has erupted in violence that has left at least 10 people dead and 45 churches burnt. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hotels, bars, a Christian ... continue reading


Is peace on the horizon? After several months of intense fear, warring parties in Libya declare ceasefire Watch

Image of Fajr Libya, or Dawn of Libya, a coalition of Islamist factions announced a cease-fire on all fronts late last week.

By Kaci Racelma, Catholic Online

There is a glimmer of hope in Libya. After several months of war and violence, that has almost brought the nations to its knees. Both the Fajr militia Libya and the Libyan army announced a ceasefire on Sunday ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - This North ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 9:15, 24-28
15 This makes him the mediator of a new covenant, so ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 3:22-30
22 The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 26th, 2015 Image

St. Timothy
January 26: Born at Lystra, Lycaenia, Timothy was the son of a Greek father ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter