Muslim Convert to Christianity Sues Church for Publicizing his Conversion

Saturday, June 14, 2014
James D. Miller (photo: First Presbyterian Church of Tulsa)

A Muslim man who converted to Christianity is suing an Oklahoma church after it published news of his religious change, which he claims resulted in his torture and near execution by extremists.


The plaintiff, whose identity is being kept hidden in court documents, claims the First Presbyterian Church of Tulsa and the Reverend James D. Miller posted an announcement of his baptism on the Internet—even though they assured him they would not.


“John Doe” of Tulsa County says the church baptized him on December 30, 2012. Three days later, he left for his home country of Syria to pick up his new wife. But while he was in Syria, a church notice went online revealing his identity and conversion.


Keeping the baptism a secret was vital, Doe says, because under some interpretations of Islamic law, Christian converts can be punished by beheading. Such a threat became very real for the plaintiff after Syrian militants saw the conversion notice and took him prisoner. He alleges that he was tortured, stabbed, shot and nearly had his head cut off before escaping.


The plaintiff has had multiple surgeries to repair the damage caused by the torture, according to the suit. He also claims to have lost a house and other property in Syria because he is unable to return.


The plaintiff’s attorney, Keith Ward, told the Tulsa World that his client’s allegations and wounds “are well documented.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Muslim Convert to Christianity Sues Tulsa Church (by Bill Sherman, Tulsa World)

John Doe v. First Presbyterian Church (Oklahoma District Court, Tulsa County) (pdf)


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