Fathima Rifka  Bary, born in 1992, is a daughter of a Muslim family, who immigrated from Sri-Lanka in 2000. Rifka  Bary fled her home in Columbus, Ohio, to Florida, on 07/19/2009, allegedly, after her parents, Mohamed and Aysha Bary, learned that she was baptized earlier this year without their knowledge.

Two weeks later, using cell phone and computer records, police tracked the girl to the Rev. Blake Lorenz, pastor of the Orlando-based Global Revolution Church in Florida. Her bus ticket from Ohio to Orlando was paid by an unknown person, which suggests that there was a premeditated support for Rifka  Baryto flee her home.

The judicial struggle which followed Rifka  Bary’s conversion and escape soon sucked in evangelist group and organization in support for Rifka  Bary and Islamic organization and “Human Rights” groups, who demands her return to her Muslim family and accused Rev. Blake Lorenz for assisting her “kidnapping” (see also – Cultural Conflict).

Rifka  Bary herself claimed in a sworn affidavit, that her father, Mohamed Bary, 47, was pressured by the Mosque the family attends in Ohio, to “deal with the situation”, which might subject her to so called “Honor Killing” if forced by court to return to her family. But her father denied any intention to kill her – “we wouldn’t do her harm”. Since a moderate version of Islam is practiced in the Muslim minority of Sri-Lanka and he already head plenty of opportunities to get rid of his daughter after she converted to Christianity and before she fled home few months later, it seems that the danger is not Rifka  Bary’s close family but from some zealous fanatic Muslim in the Islamic community of Columbus, Ohio (see – Minneapolis Network).

In the last chapter of Rifka  Bary’s saga, after sealing findings of a state investigation into Fathima Rifqa Bary case, Circuit Judge Daniel Dawson, on Thursday 09/03/2009, decided to keep her in Florida while putting the case into mediation.

Islam is includes a perception of ongoing Global Jihad – which means – to spread Islam in the world and it supposes to last up to the day that the last non Muslim human being recognizes Islam as the true faith. Islam is extremely intolerant to apostasy, especially when it means leaving Islam rather then joining the faith.

In some Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan charges with apostasy for converting out of Islam carries a penalty of death. In lawless Muslim regions like Somalia (see – Kismayo 01.15.09), FATA region and Swat District in Pakistan and parts of Yemen beheading people for alleged apostasy, whatever the real reason is, are not rare.

On the other hand hundreds of thousands converted to Islam in USA and in other European countries. According to the Arab newspaper based in London Al-Hayat from 11/11/2001 about 34,000 Americans converted to Islam in USA in the two months since The 9/11. Few of those many thousands joined Islamic terror but most of them continued their ordinary life in their neighborhood without fearing for their life or being persecuted. Websites of Muslim organizations are calling youngsters in the Western Democracies to covert to Islam and are providing guidance to do so.

The activity to persuade people of the benefit of Islam and to convince them to convert to Islam is completely legal and build in into the freedom of speech, the free flow of ideas and the right of people to choose their beliefs and faiths – but it is the obligation of democracies to enable also people of Muslim heritage to chose their way of life without any fear and intimidation.
On 10/27/2009, Rifka  Bary was returned to Ohio and temporarily placed in the custody of Franklin County Children Services.

 Margaret Shirk filed a case-management plan 12/01/2009, stating that Rifka  Bary and her family needed to have face-to-face talks about their understanding of Christianity and Islam as one step toward reunification. Franklin County Children Services hopes to reunite the family before 08/10/2010, when Rifak Bary turns 18-years-old.

On 12/22/2009, a magistrate of the Franklin county juvenile court denied Bary’s parents’ request for forced mediation and set the date for the dependency hearing for the end of January 2010. Rifka  Bary’s dependency trial was cancelled on 01/19/2010, when the Christian convert became a dependent of the State of Ohio in exchange for admitting that she broke the rules when she ran away.

On 01/29/2010, once it was learned that Rifka  Bary would be allowed to contact Reverend Lorenz and his wife, Bary’s parents requested to back out of the deal at the strict advice of their lawyer. On 03/02/2010, Judge Elizabeth Gill denied their request.

On 05/25/2020, it was reported that Rifqa  Bary had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and had three successful surgeries to remove the Cancer. In 06/2010 Rifqa  Bary graduated from high school.

On 08/10/2010, Rifka  Bary became 18 years old and Franklin County Children Services’ custody of her ended.

After the gag order was lifted on her hearings, it was revealed that RifkaBary has been communicating with her parents; sending them videos and letters saying that she loved them and thanking them for helping her become the valedictorian of her high school class .


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