Fathima Rifqa Bary is an American teenager of Sri Lankan descent who drew international attention in 2009 when she ran away from home and claimed that her Muslim parents might kill her for having converted to Christianity. Two independent investigations in Ohio and Florida found no credible evidence that her life was in danger . A relatively minor issue on the face of it, Ms. Bary's case has become a focal point in a culture clash between Evangelical Christians and Muslim Americans. Muslim sources say it is motivated by Islamophobia, Christian sources say they fear for Bary's life because they believe islamic Sharia law mandates honor killing for apostasy.
Fathima Rifqa Bary is the 17 year old daughter of Mohamed and Aysha Bary, Muslim immigrants from Sri Lanka. She grew up in Columbus, Ohio. the family attended the Noor Islamic Cultural Center near Columbus, Ohio.
According to Time Magazine, Rifqa ran away from home in July 2009 to the home of a Christian pastor in Florida whose wife she had met on Facebook. She had been with Reverend Blake Lorenz and his wife Mrs. Beverly Lorenz for three weeks before they contacted child welfare authorities. Her case drew attention when she appeared on television and declared that her father "said he would kill me or send me back to Sri Lanka," describing herself as the intended victim of an honor killing. A friend from the House of Prayer in Columbus, Ohio, drove a bus station where she purchased a ticket under an assumed name for her bus ride to Orlando.