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What Ever Happened to Rifqa Bary? How This Persecuted Ex-Muslim Found Strength to 'Rise Up!'


Watch George Thomas' interview with Gary Lane to hear about Rifqa Bary and CBN's new book about ordinary people stepping out in faith and rising up to overcome their circumstances.

What ever happened to Rifqa Bary? She was the Sri Lankan girl who, in 2009, became a Christian and then left her Columbus, Ohio home after her parents rejected her.

Just 17-years old at the time, Barry sought refuge with a Christian family in Florida. A lengthy legal battle with her parents ensued, capturing headlines and attention from Christians nationwide. 

Rifqa stood firm in her newfound Christian faith, and not only did she rise up against that challenge, but two months ago she just became the first woman in her family to graduate from college. 

She's also been on a recent public speaking tour which she says has been emotionally difficult as she reopens old wounds. "My friends, our story is not over. No matter how dark and hollow the past, we have an Author who isn't finished binding the most broken pieces of our lives," she writes on Facebook.

Appearing on this week's Global Lane program, CBN News Senior International Correspondent George Thomas said Bary's inspiring story is just one of 16 featured in CBN's new book, Rise Up: Stories of Remarkable Faith and Relentless Courage.

Thomas is one of the editors of the book. He describes it as a collection of stories of ordinary people who have overcome their struggles, have risen up beyond their circumstances, and have transformed their lives through faith in Jesus Christ.

"You hear these stories of persecution in other parts of the world, but here in the United States—in Florida a father and mother decide to disown their beautiful daughter (Rifqa)," Thomas explained. "Why? Because she decided to abandon Islam and to accept Jesus Christ and she faced tremendous persecution." 

Other inspiring stories featured in the book include the testimony of a Dallas district attorney who ended up in a coma after falling through the railing of her second story apartment, and the story of former Muslim Majed El Shafie who was persecuted by the government in Egypt.

Thomas hopes people find "inspiration in the pages of these ordinary men and women who exercised courage in the face of death sometimes, who exercised faith when they had no faith. They took a mustard seed and said, 'Christ, Lord Jesus… take it and do what you can.'"  

Be inspired by reading these faith-encouraging stories. Order your copy of Rise Up here. 

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