Lawsuit dismissed after local man sues church for publishing baptism online

Posted at 8:39 PM, Jun 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-30 22:16:27-04

A lawsuit against a Tulsa church is dismissed this week after a local man said his baptism at the church led to a life of fear and resulted in torture.

The plaintiff in this case is John Doe, a former Muslim who converted to Christianity and decided to be baptized at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Tulsa.

He claims the church made a simple mistake by publishing his name online after he told them not to, putting him in harm's way

John Doe, as his name appears on the lawsuit, has changed his identity after the incident. He converted to Christianity two years ago after reading the bible on a flight from Syria to Tulsa.

He said First Presbyterian baptized him and then published he had made the sacrament online.

"They called me out," Doe said. "I was expecting after the service to have a private baptism."

Doe then traveled to Syria, where he said his Muslim family members found his new profession of faith online.

"They took me out four or five hours at a time, beating me, punching me and kicking me... you brought shame to our family, you brought shame to Islam."

Doe said they electrocuted him and even tried to behead him, when he managed to get away.

He adds because the church published his name, he lives in constant fear, so he sued. The church removed his name from its site, but alleges all baptism sacraments are documented, and there was no deal to baptize Doe in private.

A judge ruled in the Church's favor, dismissing the case, stating, "It is up to each person when deciding upon accepting or rejecting religion to know the consequences of exercising that freedom of religion."

The judge said the first amendment guarantees the right of churches to follow their beliefs and practices without the government interfering in a court of law.

Doe said he will appeal the judges decision on the case.

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