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Runaway Christian Convert to Stay in Florida for Now, Judge Rules
A 17-year-old runaway who claims she fled her Muslim family's home in Ohio because she feared becoming the victim of an "honor killing" will stay in Florida — temporarily — a judge ruled Friday.
Rifqa Bary, a Christian convert whose parents are Muslim immigrants from Sri Lanka, will remain in foster care in Florida until another hearing is held Sept. 3.
Rifqa fled to Florida after her parents, Mohamed and Aysha Bary, learned that she was baptized earlier this year without their knowledge. The parents reported her missing to Columbus, Ohio, Police on July 19. 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.
Florida's Gov. Charlie Crist weighed in on the mater Friday with the following statement: "I am grateful to Circuit Judge Daniel Dawson for his decision to grant Fathima Rifqa Bary the right to remain in Florida. ... We will continue to fight to protect Rifqa's safety and wellbeing as we move forward."
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