For most of us who have grown up in America, religious persecution is something we can only vaguely fathom. Many of us take our right to have our own religious beliefs, lack thereof, for granted. It’s something our ancestors fought to attain long before us, and yes, even though we still have conflict today over some things regarding our religions, most of our lives are not in danger because of our beliefs. Take a moment and imagine if your life was in danger for your religious beliefs; and even further still, imagine if that endangerment came from your parents. Hiding in the Light is Rifqa Bary’s true recollection of the story that made national and international news headlines in 2009; her flee from her parents’ and mosque’s threat to her life at the age of 16.
Rifqa was raised in a strict, but loving, Muslim household in Sri Lanka and growing up, she strove to please her parents by doing everything to the expectations they had to please them and Allah. Even when she was a child, though, she felt “a Presence, quiet and comforting, hovering, nearly tangible”. She was not sure at the time what it was, but as she grew to become a young lady she started to get her answers.
After a horrific incident, her family moved to America to protect her and that is when things started getting bad in her own household; Rifqa no longer felt safe and protected by her parents like she had in Sri Lanka. At a young age, Rifqa started to run into some people who were a part of Christianity and she felt the “Presence” she had felt as a child, but was too scared of the consequences of her family to pursue a relationship with this “Presence” who she deemed was Jesus. At the age of 12, she surrendered her life to Christ and spent the next 4 years hiding her new found faith from her parents, which was easier said than done. At 16, her parents’ mosque found out she was a Christian and ordered that her father “take care” of her so he made an emergency flight home from a business trip to do just that. Rifqa realized she needed to make an escape to save her life and fast. Right before dawn she left a note on her bed that she was a Christian and would not deny it for her parents to see and made her escape to a place she didn’t even know.
In the recollection, Rifqa tells not only about how her life was growing up, but about the incredible love of Jesus Christ that compelled her to risk everything for him and run to him with everything uncertain and her life on the line. It is truly inspiring to see a Faith that has been put through the test and fires of some very difficult trials in life, but yet holds firm to the truth that Jesus Christ is Lord. A true story that would help rekindle someone’s faith that is shaken because it shows that God is always there watching over and protecting his children. And with a little faith, mountains can surely be moved.
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WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group provided this book to me for free in exchange for this honest review as part of their Blogging for Books program.