Christian Convert Teen Must Go Back Home, Judge Rules

Published October 14, 2009

| FoxNews.com

A 17-year old girl who fled from her home, fearing her Muslim parents would kill her for converting to Christianity, must go back to Ohio, a Florida judge ruled Tuesday.

Judge Daniel Dawson ruled Ohio has jurisdiction over the case involving the teen, Rifqa Bary.

Before the girl gets sent back, the judge says he needs immigration papers proving her status in the U.S. and proof from the state of Florida that she can continue her virtual schooling and receive credit in Ohio.

She is expected to be placed in foster care when she returns and will also be provided with psychiatric evaluations. Her parents will also receive psychiatric evaluations.

Rifqa can be back in Ohio as early as this week, or by an Oct. 23 follow-up hearing.

LIVESHOTS: Judge Rules Against Teen Christian Convert.

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.

In an emotional six-minute interview with WFTV in Florida, Rifqa, who met Lorenz through an online Facebook group, said she expects to be killed if she is forced to return to Ohio.

"If I had stayed in Ohio, I wouldn't be alive," she said. "In 150 generations in family, no one has known Jesus. I am the first — imagine the honor in killing me."

But a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation found no credible threats to Bary.

Contacted by FOXNews.com, Rifqa'a father Mohamed Bary said he has no intentions of harming his daughter.

"I love my daughter and I want her to come back to the family," he said, declining further comment.

The Barys reportedly emigrated from Sri Lanka in 2000 to seek medical treatment for Rifqa, who lost the sight in her right eye following an accident at home.

For more on this story, go to MyFoxOrlando.com.

Fox News' Phil Keating and Serafin Gomez and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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