Runaway Christian convert Rifqa Bary has cancer
The story of 17-year-old Christian (formerly Muslim) convert Fathima Rifqa Bary is far from over according to the Orlando Sentinel, as she is getting surgery for cancer and will need several rounds of chemotherapy afterwards.
Last year Bary converted to Christianity, then fled to Florida because she was afraid her parents or people from their mosque would kill her.
Now she is back in Ohio due to a court order, but lives with a foster family.
Even as her parents continue the court battle over how she should be raised, Bary has had two surgeries for cancer, and will undergo a third operation on Thursday, the Orlando Sentinel said.
While she was in the hospital, Bary’s estranged Muslim parents Mohamed and Aysha Bary were allowed to go to her hospital room without her permission, according to OneNewsNow.
“I don’t know if it was her attorney, her case worker, [but] somebody made the decision to bring her parents into the room to see her without her permission,” said Jamal Jivanjee, director of the Florida-based ministry, Illuminate, “and that caused her a lot of emotional turmoil and stress, and she objected to that and they had to get them out of there,” according to OneNewsNow.
In August last year Bary said, “If I had stayed in Ohio, I wouldn’t be alive. In 150 generations in my family, no one has known Jesus. I am the first — imagine the honor in killing me,” FoxNews.com reported.
Bary fled to Florida on a bus last July after her parents learned that she was baptized in early 2009 without their knowledge. Weeks later, using cell phone and computer records, police tracked her to the home of Rev. Blake Lorenz, pastor of the Orlando-based Global Revolution Church, and his wife Beverly. An Orange-Osceola judge ordered Bary back to Ohio in October last year, according to FoxNews.com.
Bary suffers from an aggressive form of uterine cancer. Her doctors initially considered a complete hysterectomy, but are hoping that won’t be necessary. The full extent of her condition will be known after her operation on Thursday, FoxNews.com said.
Fathima said that she would like to continue to stay with her foster family in Columbus. She turns 18 on August 10 and as an adult, her court battles with her father should end, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
However, when she turns 18 she will lose her health care and may face problems with her immigration status for being in the United States illegally. She may be deported back to Sri Lanka, FoxNews.com said.
Jivanjee said, “We’re praying that somehow she’ll be granted asylum.” He added that with Bary’s immigration status still up in the air, and the prospect of extensive medical treatment, she is obviously scared right now, OneNewsNow reported.