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Fathima Rifqa Bary Turns 18, Wins Freedom To Do As She Likes

ICC Note

Today, Rifqa Bary, a Christian convert from Islam, turns 18 ending legal battle with her Muslim parents. Rifqa now has the freedom to worship without fear of being returned back to her parents. Please continue praying for Rifqa and her family.

08/10/2010 United States (Orlando Sentinel)-Today, Rifqa Bary turns 18. That means her long, painful public legal battle with her parents is expected to end and she will be free to live wherever she likes and worship whatever God she chooses.

Hers has been a long, difficult saga. It began July 19, 2009, when she disappeared from the home of her Muslim family in suburban Columbus , Ohio , and boarded a Greyhound bus for Orlando .

Since then, public agencies in Florida and Ohio that have provided foster care, lawyers, treatment for her cancer, psychological counseling and police work estimate their costs at $186,000. Some agencies, including the Columbus Police Department, say they have no idea how much they spent.

Her story was gripping: A pixyish high-school junior, a cheerleader, an obedient daughter, she had fled her home, she said, because her father or members of his mosque were going to kill her for converting to Christianity.

The Barys, natives of Sri Lanka , have expired immigration visas and are now fighting to stay in the U.S.

Craig McCarthy: An Orlando court-appointed lawyer who represented Rifqa’s mother early in the case is running as a Republican for the Florida Legislature. He describes himself as conservative and Christian but was lambasted by some who accused him of being anti-Christian.

“It threw everything upside down during that period, and everything was a blur,” McCarthy, 42, said of his six weeks on the case. He added, “I never got paid. I never billed the state for it. ”

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