PHILADELPHIA — A Sudanese woman who refused to recant her Christian faith in the face of a death sentence, which was later overturned, arrived Thursday in the United States, where she was welcomed by the mayor of Philadelphia as a “world freedom fighter.”

Meriam Ibrahim flew from Rome to Philadelphia with her husband and two children, en route to Manchester, New Hampshire, where her husband has family and where they will make their new home.

Mayor Michael Nutter said people will remember Ibrahim along “with others who stood up so we could be free.”

Nutter said it was only fitting she landed first in Philadelphia, a city founded as a place open to all faiths. He gave her a small replica of the Liberty Bell, a symbol of American independence which he said she understood.

“Meriam Ibrahim is a world freedom fighter,” he said.

Ibrahim had been sentenced to death over charges of apostasy. Her father was Muslim, and her mother was an Orthodox Christian.

She married Wani, a Christian from southern Sudan, in 2011. Muslim women in Sudan are prohibited from marrying non-Muslims.

By law, children must follow their father’s religion.

Sudan initially blocked Ibrahim from leaving the country even after its highest court overturned her death sentence in June. At one point, the family took refuge at the U.S. embassy in Khartoum.

Manchester, a city of 110,000 about 50 miles north of Boston, is northern New England’s largest city and has been a magnet for immigrants and refugees for decades.

There are about 500 Sudanese living in the city just north of the Massachusetts state line.

Her husband, Daniel Wani, had previously lived in New Hampshire. He had been granted U.S. citizenship when he fled to the United States as a child to escape civil war, but he later returned and was a citizen of South Sudan.

A small gathering was planned at the Manchester airport Thursday night, said Gabriel Wani, Ibrahim’s brother-in-law. He spoke to his brother and said the family is doing well.

“We’re just going to go and bring them home,” he said. “They want to come home and they want to rest.”

Monyroor Teng, pastor of the Sudanese Evangelical Covenant Church in Manchester, said Ibrahim’s release gives him hope.

“People are really happy to receive them when they come home,” he said.

“It’s a miracle to me. I didn’t think that something like this would happen because in Sudan, when something happens like that, it’s unreal. It happens to so many people. Maybe, who knows, I’m praying for those (other) ladies who are in jail and those who have died.”

The Rev. William Devlin, a New York City pastor who had helped the family, said Ibrahim expressed some sadness when he talked to her Wednesday.

“She is leaving everything she knows behind,” he said.