Rifqa Bary convulsed America when she appeared on national television in tears, saying her parents would kill her for leaving Islam and converting to Christianity.
“This is not just some threat, this is reality, this is truth,” she sobbed. Rifqa had run away from home at age 16 and was taken in temporarily by an Orlando, Florida, pastor, whom she contacted through Facebook. Eventually, she was turned over the Child Protective Services.
The Sri Lankan-born Fathima Rifqa Bary came to America with her family to seek treatment for her eye, blinded by her brother. The family took up residence in Columbus, Ohio, and Rifqa attended school and participated in sports.
While she prospered academically and socially, she suffered under the stringent, oppressive brand of Islam practiced by her parents, she said.
“It meant that I learned how to read the Quran before I could even speak,” she recalled. “It meant that I learned how to pray five times a day. It meant that I had to fast 30 days starting at age six or seven, no water.”
Her nature was happy-go-lucky. She earned straight A’s, participated in cheerleading and track in high school and thoroughly embraced American culture. Her dad did not.
“I remember being joyful and happy and if I were too happy I would remember my father just beating me to the point where I went flying across the room,” Rafqi said. Islam “was so empty and I felt like I was caged and suffocating in rules and I wanted out.”
Secretly, she attended church with a friend from middle school and even dared to get baptized.
“I went and I had a life changing encounter where I experienced the love of God that captured my spirit and left me changed,” she testified.
She surrendered to Jesus as her Lord and Savior and was born again!
Eventually, her parents discovered her closely guarded secret. They found her Bible and realized she had been reading it secretly in the bathroom. Apostasy is considered a disgrace to Muslims, and the Koran stipulates death as the penalty. Her father grew angrier and angrier demanding she renounce her newfound faith, she recounted.
“He gave me an ultimatum and it was — kind of in his sick way having mercy on me — to return to my old ways,” she said. Read the rest about Rifqa Bary converts to Christianity.