Rifqa Bary made the news back in 2009 when she ran away from her Muslim family, saying that her family had threatened to kill her for converting to Christianity. Now, the Ohio woman is sharing her inspiring story in the new book called "Hiding in the Light," in which she says that God's love touched her "in such a way where I had to give myself and I couldn't hold back and I had to leave."
She spoke to Fox and Friends about her new book, and revealed painful details about her past. Her family left Sri Lanka and moved to the United States in 2000 to seek treatment for her right eye, which was losing sight. When she was just a child, Rifqa was molested by a member of her extended family.
"I grew up in a Muslim home - I come from an extremely strict home. In my culture there's a lot of oppression...shame is cast on the victim," she revealed.
When their family moved to Ohio, Rifqa was still a Muslim, but it just did not resonate with her. When she was introduced to Christianity, Rifqa found herself drawn to it because she was able to worship God in a more personal way, not by force, and in a language she was able to understand.
"When I was 13, I sought another way and did the really 'despicable' thing, which was praying to another God," she said. "I was desperate just to be able to be free to worship Jesus, so I would sneak out sometimes to go to prayer meetings or I would stay up late and read the Bible in the bathroom or find any possible way."
When her parents found out about her conversion, Rifqa said she feared for her life and that is why she decided to run away. "I believe I would have been harmed, if not something more. I can't say," she said. "It wasn't just one decision where I decided to leave. It was an entire life of oppression."
Given the opportunity to talk to her father again though, Rifqa said that she would tell him she loves him despite everything that has happened, and that she has forgiven him and continues to pray for him. She added that she wants others to know about her story and know that through God, there is always hope, healing, and restoration.