When Bary was 16 years old, her Muslim parents found out she had renounced Islam and had become a Christian. That’s when she ran away from home in Ohio and took refuge with Christians in Florida she had met on Facebook.
Bary had heard stories of so-called honor killings for those who renounce Islam, and she feared that if she returned home, her father would try to kill her . . .
Police in Florida and Ohio found no evidence she was in danger, but because she was a minor, Bary remained in Ohio state custody until her 18th birthday. (Read more from “Why Rifqa Bary Fled Islam to Follow Jesus” HERE)
Rifqa Bary, Who Converted From Islam to Christianity, Shares Her Miraculous Journey: ‘The Love of God Overwhelmed Me’
By Leah Marieann Klett. Rifqa Bary, the Ohio woman who made national headlines in 2009 when she ran away from her Muslim family after secretly converting to Christianity, recently opened up about her radical conversion, explaining that she left Islam after experiencing the love of God “in such a way where I had to give myself and I couldn’t hold back and I had to leave.”
Bary, who tells her inspiring story in the new book “Hiding in the Light,” reveals that she had been molested as a child by a member of her extended family and also lost sight in her right eye, two incidents which ultimately prompted her parents to leave Sri Lanka and move to the U.S. in 2000.
“I grew up in a Muslim home– I come from an extremely strict home. In my culture there’s a lot of oppression..shame is cast on the victim,” the 22-year-old told Elisabeth Hasselbeck on “Fox and Friends” in her first national television interview held on Tuesday.
After moving to Ohio, the young girl gave herself completely to her Muslim faith–but found it to be empty. In her autobiography, Bary reveals that she was then drawn to Christianity because it offered her a chance to worship God in a more personal way, not by compulsion, and in a language she could understand.
“When I was 13, I sought another way and did the really ‘despicable’ thing, which was praying to another God,” Bary recalled. “I was desperate just to be able to be free to worship Jesus, so I would sneak out sometimes to go to prayer meetings or I would stay up late and read the Bible in the bathroom or find any possible way.” (Read more from this story HERE)