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First Muslim Miss USA Converts to Catholicism

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 06: Miss USA 2010 Rima Fakih attends the arrivial ceremony for the 2011 Miss USA contestants at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on June 6, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/FilmMagic)
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Rima Fakih is believed to be the first Muslim to win the title of Miss USA when she was crowned the winner in 2010.

Now, the beauty pageant winner has converted to Christianity, recently sharing a verse from Philippians on Twitter.

Fakih converted to Christianity last month in preparation for her marriage in Lebanon next week to Wassim Salibi, a wealthy Christian music producer, Christian Today reports.

At the time of winning the Miss USA title, Fakih said, “I’d like to say I’m American first, and I am an Arab-American, I am Lebanese-American, and I am Muslim-American.”

According to the news site Albawaba, Fakih only connected to her Muslim roots in college.

“When I went to the University of Michigan, because there’s more of a Muslim community, my dad wanted me to learn more about Islam,” she said. “I didn’t know much about Ramadan and other holidays, and my dad wanted me to take that opportunity and learn.

Christian Today adds:

Fakih’s faith was Shia Muslim but she attended a Catholic school.

In a Huffington Post interview in 2010 she said: “We’re more of a spiritual family. Religion really doesn’t define me or my family. My family’s been very liberal, and we appreciate all different kinds of religions.”

She added: “My brother-in-law is Christian, and he (and my sister) baptised their two sons. I have an uncle who converted to Christianity, and he’s a priest now.”

She said: “We’d go to church on Easter. We always had a Christmas tree and every year we go the Radio City Christmas Show, and watch Miracle on 34th Street. But we celebrate some of the Islamic holidays as well.”

And there’s this: 

Fakih has a Christian brother-in-law who baptized his two sons. One of her uncles has converted to Christianity and become a priest.

She tweeted a Bible verse from the Philippians in March, quoting: ‘I can do all things through him who strengthens me.’

Maronite Christians acknowledge the authority of the Pope and as such are Catholics.

Read more about the Maronite church—one of the Catholic Eastern Rite churches— here.

Photo: Getty Images

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