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Rifqa, the Reverand and Apostasy
by Salam Al Marayati
Fathima Rifqa Bary, who goes by Rifqa, is a 17-year-old from Columbus, Ohio who ran away from home -- not an uncommon occurrence for 17-year-olds. But the circumstances surrounding her story have opened a host of legal, cultural and theological issues.
Her Muslim parents moved the family to the U.S. from Sri Lanka in 2000, seeking medical attention for Rifqa, who had lost her right eye playing with a toy. Rifqa, who the Columbus Dispatch reports was a cheerleader at her high school, joined a Bible study group on Facebook earlier this year and was baptized at a local church.
Last month, she hopped on a bus to Orlando to meet with Rev. Blake Lorenz, who she met through a Facebook prayer group for the couple's non-denominational Global Revolution Church.
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