Judge to Rule on Fate of Christian Convert

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A Florida judge will decide Friday whether the case of 17-year old Rifqa Bary should be heard in Florida or Ohio.
Bary, a Christian, fled her home in Ohio because she feared her family would kill her for leaving Islam. The girl has been placed with a foster family of evangelical Christians and is attending their church.

Bary's father, Muhammed, spoke to an Ohio television station, Thursday, and denied the allegations that he has threatened to kill his daughter.

"Not at all.  It is completely false," he said.  "It is not my daughter who is speaking. I feel that she has been coached to say these things."

He also told ABC News that his best friend is a Christian and that he would never take part in an honor killing.

A court will decide Aug. 21 whether Bary will be emancipated and allowed to stay in Florida or returned to her parents in Ohio

What's next for Rifqa Bary?  Click play for more with Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch.  Click here to watch all of Bary's emotional plea as she awaits the court's decision .  Also, watch CBN News Senior Reporter George Thomas' explanation of honor killings here.

She fears they will return her to her native Sri Lanka where she will be killed.

"I'm now a Christian," she said. "I'm from a Muslim background. It's an honor. If they love God more than me they have to do this. I'm fighting for my life. You guys don't understand (crying) they don't understand." 

Bary, who became a Christian about four years ago, befriended Pastor Beverly Lorenz of Orlando, Fla. in a Facebook group.

When her family discovered her faith, she bought a bus ticket and went to Florida where she showed up on Lorenz's doorstep.
"It became very real when we went it court," Lorenz said. "She saw her dad, she curled up in fetal position, began to shake. She was in fear for her life."'

Dr. Phyllis Chesler, author of Woman's Inhumanity to Woman, said there is an increasingly core group who murder their daughters for leaving Islam.

"They've murdered them for refusing to wear hijab," Chesler said. "They've murdered them for becoming too Western."

Rifqa's father went to Florida to bring her back, but denied the family would have her killed.

A police detective in Ohio is also questioning Rifqa Bary's claims about why she ran away, saying the girl's father seems genuinely concerned and worried about his daughter.

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CBN News
Dale Hurd

Dale Hurd

CBN News Sr. Reporter

A CBN News veteran, Dale Hurd has reported extensively from Western Europe, as well as China, Russia, and Central and South America.  Since 9/11, Dale has reported in depth on various aspects of the global war on terror in the United States and Europe.  Follow Dale on Twitter @HurdontheWeb and "like" him at Facebook.com/DaleHurdNews.