A former Muslim who converted to Christianity is suing an Oklahoma church after he says officials there published his name and baptism information online, leading to his purported torture at the hands of Islamic extremists.
The bizarre story began Dec. 30, 2012, when the plaintiff, identified in court documents only as John Doe, was apparently baptized by the Rev. James Miller at First Presbyterian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
According to the complaint, Doe, a Muslim convert to Christianity, told church leaders that his conversion needed to be covert, as apostasy is punishable by death in some Islamic societies. Just days later, he was scheduled to visit Syria, his native country.
Doe claimed he was assured that it would be kept a secret and he arrived in Syria on January 2 to “pick up his bride,” as Tulsa World reported.
But according to his complaint, the church published his name online on January 6, letting the public know that he had been baptized.
Days later, he said radical Islamists approached him in Syria and said they learned of his conversion to Christianity on the Internet.
Despite his denials, he claims they captured and subsequently tortured him. After being beaten, forced into an electrified drum for 18 hours per day, stabbed and shot, Doe claims he was nearly beheaded, but that he escaped after stealing a gun from one of his captors.
Now, he’s going after the church for allegedly posting his information online.
Doe’s attorneys recognize that the story seems unbelievable, but lawyer Keith Ward told Tulsa World “his injuries and all the allegations are well documented.”
John Tucker, Miller’s lawyer, also issued a response on behalf of his client. In it, Miller said that he couldn’t go into details, as the case is in litigation, but he did confirm the baptism, which he says unfolded at a “a regular Sunday service.”
“As the facts and truth of these events are revealed during the judicial process, it will become clear that First Church followed its normal procedures in baptizing this person and the claims made in the suit are not proper,” Miller said.
The lawsuit accuses the church of breach of contract and negligence, with Doe seeking $75,000 in damages, according to the Associated Press.
(H/T: Tulsa World)
Front page image via Shutterstock.com
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