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Christian Convert Might Not Get Her Christmas Cards

A Franklin County Juvenile Court judge is set to hear arguments on whether a local teen runaway can receive mail.

Christian convert Rifqa Bary may not get any Christmas cards this year. The 17-year-old ran away from her Columbus area home this summer after she changed religions. Bary feared her family, who are Muslims, would kill her for converting to Christianity.

Omar Tarazi, the attorney for the girl's father, filed a motion earlier this month to stop communication from third parties. Court documents filed by Tarazi indicate internet sites are using Christmas cards as a disguise to send messages to Bary. Tarazi said the websites have incited hatred about the case. He said it is dangerous to Bary to possibly receive communication from readers of such websites.

The attorney wants Franklin County Children Services to form a list of acceptable people who can communicate with Bary.

A gag order prevents attorneys or children services from speaking about the case. Children Services spokesperson Doris Calloway Moore said the right of a child in foster care to communicate with friends and family is spelled out in a case plan. Calloway Moore could not speak about Bary's case plan.