Rifqa Bary: Face of the “New Civil Rights Movement” in America?

The Orlando Sentinel got access to the two hour interview that Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducted with Rifqa Bary as part of its investigation in which Bary asserted that her father had beaten her and even had a marriage arranged for her back in Sri Lanka, but also provides some insights into how she ended up at the home of Blake and Beveryly Lorenz in Florida:

During the August interview, she answered several questions about how she got from her parents’ home to Florida. She said she sneaked out about 7 a.m. on a Sunday, spent all day at a church and then spent the night with a family whose child went to school with her.

She hitchhiked to the Greyhound bus station, she said, although Florida authorities have reported that Brian Williams, the 20-something evangelical who baptized her, drove her to the bus station. In the interview, Rifqa said she met Williams through an anti-abortion group.

The bus ticket was bought for her by a married couple who belong to the Global Revolution Church in Florida, she said. They picked her up in Orlando and took her to stay with the Revs. Blake and Beverly Lorenz, pastors of the church.

Rifqa called her time with the Lorenzes “the best weeks of my life.”

She said they paid for new clothes and decorated a room for her. “They loved me like a mother and father did.”

A cheerful Rifqa described herself as a “Facebook fanatic,” explaining how she’d met Beverly Lorenz and many other Christians willing to help her in online prayer groups. On Facebook, she goes by “Anna Michelle Matthew” to hide from her parents, she said.

On a related note, News 13 in Florida recently caught up with Lorenz who explained why they waited two weeks before notifying authorities of Bary’s presence in their home, saying “we wanted to get to know her. We wanted to know if her story was true or not” and declaring that Bary represents the “new civil rights movement” in America: 

Lorenz is talking about the day a 16-year-old girl showed up at his doorstep, fearing for her safety.

His choice to take in the Ohio runaway would change his life and possibly the way we looked at religion in this country.

“In fact, I’ve had lawyers and others tell me this is the new civil rights movement for the 21st century in America,” Lorenz said.