Oklahoma court favors church in Syrian torture lawsuit

A court has ruled that a man from Syria who says he was tortured in his home country after converting to Christianity has no legal recourse against an Oklahoma church that published his name and baptism online.

The former Muslim is identified in the lawsuit only as "John Doe." He says that after his baptism in 2012 he returned to Syria and was kidnapped and tortured by radical Muslims. He claims he escaped by killing a relative who aided his captors.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that courts must refrain from "undue interference with religious beliefs and practices." It upheld a lower court ruling that church autonomy bars the courts from considering the plaintiff's claim.

The man's attorney in Tulsa didn't immediately return messages seeking comment.