New Book Sheds Light on Rifqa Bary's Terrifying Conversion Journey

Rifqa Bary
Rifqa Bary (Random House promotional image)

Sixteen-year-old Rifqa Bary made international headlines in 2009 when, newly baptized as a Christian and fearing her Muslim parents' reaction, she ran away from her Ohio home and took refuge with a pastor in Florida.

Fearing a so-called honor killing, a controversial practice in some Muslim communities which calls on the family of someone who has in some way "dishonored" her family name or Islam itself—often through converting to a different religion or through losing one's virginity outside of marriage—to kill the alleged perpetrator, Bary remained estranged from her family even after returning to Ohio and becoming a ward of the state.

Though the incident has raised hackles in the Muslim community, the Christian community, and the mainstream press, now Bary has opened up like never before about her conversion, her fears and her decision to leave her family.

Hiding in the Light: Why I Risked Everything to Leave Islam and Follow Jesus is Bary's first book, which released Tuesday from Waterbrook Press. Already a #1 category best-seller on Amazon, Hiding in the Light is the now-22-year-old convert's most comprehensive offering into what really happened those years ago, including why she took the massive risk of leaving everything she knew to plunge into the heart of the Savior.

Garnering praise from such luminaries as Max Lucado, Tony Perkins and Naghmeh Abedini—wife of imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedini, who knows firsthand the dangers of converting to Christianity in certain Muslim communities, the book shares her journey from Islam to Christianity and from abuse to love.

"The biggest difference is love," Bary says in a promotional video for the book. "It's a story of finding out the beauty of Jesus, and in that, leaving everything behind."

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