Rifqa Bary was back in court yesterday as her parents tried to get the case moved from Florida, where she fled, back to Ohio and filed a complaint against the couple who harbored her after she ran-away:
Rifqa’s father stepped up a strategy to bring his daughter back to Ohio. Mohamed Bary filed a criminal complaint against the Orlando pastors who helped shelter Rifqa for more than two weeks before the state intervened.
Lawyer Shayan Elahi told the Orange County court that Rifqa’s parents, Mohamed and Aysha Bary, filed a complaint about Blake and Beverly Lorenz with law-enforcement officials.
A letter sent to Orlando police by Mohamed Bary claimed Rifqa was “indoctrinated and coerced” by representatives of Global Revolution Church and “was hidden” by the Lorenzes. Orlando police said they are not investigating.
A Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokeswoman confirmed the agency received a complaint against the Lorenzes, but she could not comment further.
Mat Staver, the Lorenzes’ lawyer and longtime friend, said there is “no solid basis for the complaint” filed against them.
He said the Lorenzes did what any person would do given the circumstances. Staver said the Lorenzes took multiple steps to notify authorities.
Given the deepening involvement of Staver in this case, it is not surprising to see that Bary’s case is rapidly becoming a cause for moer and more Religious Right groups and activists, like Lou Engle, who see it as a call to battle against Islam:
Four years ago, while living in a very devout and radical Muslim home, Rifqa met Jesus in a powerful way as her savior. She hid her conversion, began praying secretly, and began hiding her bible from her parents. Then, on Facebook, her love for Jesus was exposed to the radical Muslim community in Ohio. Rifqa’s father demanded that she renounce Jesus or he would kill her as is commanded by the Koran. As a radiant believer in Jesus she refused to renounce her Lord and fled to Orlando where she was taken in and cared for by a Christian Church and family. Now, the father is appealing to the courts to bring her back under his custody. Major television networks have already covered her story. How must the Church of America respond in this moment for our sister who is a part of the Body of Christ?
This convergence, I believe, is urgently summoning us in the midst of the rising tide of Islamic influence in America to recognize that our God is above every god and that if we return to Him with all of our hearts and call upon Him with fasting and prayer then God could use what the enemy meant for evil to bring about a great day of salvation for Muslims in America, of which Rifqa is but a major sign.
First of all, we cannot be passive as a Church to let these kinds of developments go on without being challenged in the spirit. Our fight is not against Muslims, it is against principalities, powers, and forces of darkness. We are calling the Church of America at the end of Ramadan, from September 21st through 25th, to five days of concerted prayer. On Monday, we must pray that God would grant supernatural wisdom to the courts so that the testimony of Jesus would be proclaimed and that the best situation for Rifqa and her family would take place. We must pray for Rifqa to be bold in proclaiming Jesus that even thousands of Muslims would hear and be awakened to the love of Christ. She has already said that this is not about her but about many Muslims coming to Jesus. We must pray for her lawyers who are being bullied, threatened, and challenged on every side. On Friday, Sept. 25, the Muslim Day of Prayer, we are calling the Church of America to fast and pray that Muslims would be moved by the Holy Spirit, convicted by the testimony of Christ, and even be visited by Jesus in dreams. We must pray that God would restrain the spiritual powers behind Islam and grant us the great awakening that we desperately need for America.
Even the Family Research Council is getting involved, picking up on Engle’s call to prayer and sending out its own urgent prayer request:
This prayer request is extremely urgent! Please pray and forward it to praying people within your sphere of influence!
The fate of Rifqa Bary may be decided today. In July, in fear for her life, the radiant 17 year-old fled her parent’s Ohio home to seek refuge with the family of an Orlando, Florida pastor. Florida attorney and pro-family leader John Stemberger took up Rifqa’s case and is fighting to save her life.
Pastor Lou Engle, a longtime leader in the national prayer movement, is asking Christians everywhere to pray September 21-25, and to fast on Friday, September 25th when fifty thousand Muslims will meet on the Washington Mall to “pray for America.”
* Please Pray for Rifqa and her attorney, that God will give them wisdom and victory in their legal effort. May God protect Rifqa, keeping her safe, even as He uses her to minister Christ to the Christian and Muslim worlds (Ps 91: all; 121: all; Eph 6:10-20).
* May America’s pastors and churches awaken to the challenge that the Muslim faith and activist political agenda poses to our nation and Christian heritage. May believers arise to pray and may Biblical truth and the power of the Holy Spirit mightily prevail as those with competing religious views vie for our nation’s soul. May the advance of Islam be used of God to stir believers to ever greater faithfulness to Christ and may the Church learn how to love and effectively minister to those in the Muslim and other religious communities! (Ex 20:2-5; Ps 96:5; Acts 4:12; Gal 2:4-5; Mt 28:19-20; Mk 16:15).
Thank you for your prayers over these critically important matters!