Probably the Rev. Miller and other First Presbyterian Church officials had no idea that they would be endangering this man by announcing his baptism, because they had no idea that Islam has a death penalty for apostasy, because if they had heard about Sharia penalty for apostasy at all, they had been assured that there was actually no such thing, and that only Islamophobes thought otherwise. And so they gave out the news that this man had been baptized, and back in Syria Islamic jihadists almost murdered him.
“Muslim convert to Christianity sues Tulsa church,” by Bill Sherman, Tulsa World, June 13, 2014 (thanks to Charles):
A Muslim convert to Christianity is suing First Presbyterian Church and its pastor, the Rev. James D. Miller, alleging that church leaders published an announcement of his baptism on the Internet after assuring him they would not do so.
The Tulsa County resident, identified only as John Doe in court papers for his own safety, alleges that because the news of his conversion appeared on the Internet, he was kidnapped on a trip to his native Syria by radical Muslims seeking to enforce Shariah law.
According to the filing in Tulsa District Court, he was bound, beaten and tortured for several days, and was forced to spend 18 hours a day in a 55-gallon electrified drum. He also was stabbed several times, shot, and threatened with beheading.
When Doe was taken out to be beheaded, he managed to free his hands, grab a firearm from a captor, kill one of them, his paternal uncle, and escape, according to the court filing.
Tulsa attorney Keith Ward, who is representing Doe, said the case is one of the strangest he has seen.
“We understand the skepticism toward the claim,” he said, “but his injuries and all the allegations are well documented.”
He said Doe has had four surgeries to repair injuries he received in Syria since returning to Tulsa.
He said Doe, in his 40s, went to Syria to pick up his bride.
Doe had lived most of his adult life in the United States, and was close to getting his U.S. citizenship.
The court filing says that in 2012 Doe discussed converting to Christianity with the leaders at First Presbyterian Church, and discussed the need to keep his conversion private, because under Shariah law, one who converts from Islam is put to death, usually by beheading.
After receiving assurances of privacy from church leaders, he was baptized by Miller at the church on Dec. 30, 2012.
He left immediately for Syria, arriving in Damascus on Jan. 2, 2013.
On Jan. 6, 2013, according to the court filing, the church published a notice of his baptism that included his name.
In mid-January, Doe was confronted by radical Muslims in Damascus who told him they had read about his conversion on the Internet. He denied it, but was unable to convince them, and they took him captive, the court record says.
G. Steven Stidham, another attorney representing Doe, called the church’s action “an outrageous breach of trust that led to a disastrous consequences.”
Stidham said Doe would not be doing media interviews.
Miller issued the following statement Thursday through his attorney, John Tucker:
“You may have heard that the First Presbyterian Church and I, Dr. James Miller, have been named as defendants in a lawsuit.
“The person suing contends he suffered injury at the hands of others in another country because he had been baptized as a Christian at First Church.
“I cannot share more details with you because this is a matter in litigation. The person bringing the claim has asked to remain anonymous, so I cannot share with you even who the person is.
“I would however, like to speak to the church family and the entire Tulsa community.
“The lawsuit is brought by a person who received the Sacrament of Baptism before the congregation during a regular Sunday service at First Church. 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.”