WASHINGTON – An ISIS fighter who reveled in killing Christians now follows Jesus Christ after a “man in white” repeatedly appeared to him in dreams and said, “You are killing my people,” according to a missionary leader.
A worker with the international evangelical group Youth With a Mission, or YWAM, came in contact earlier this year with the ISIS fighter, who, though understandably guarded, confided that he had become a Christian.
He confessed he once had “actually enjoyed” killing Christians, according to Gina Fadely, international director of frontier missions for YWAM.
Fadely revealed the story in an interview May 29 on The Voice of the Martyrs Radio Network, the Christian Post reported.
The ISIS fighter, she said, “told this YWAM leader that he had begun having dreams of this man in white who came to him and said, ‘You are killing my people.”
“And he started to feel really sick and uneasy about what he was doing,” Fadely said.
“The fighter said that just before he killed one Christian, the man said, ‘I know you will kill me, but I give to you my Bible.'” Fadely recounted. “The Christian was killed and this ISIS fighter actually took the Bible and began to read it.”
She said that in another dream, Jesus asked the ISIS fighter to follow him, and the ISIS fighter “was now asking to become a follower of Christ and to be discipled.”
Fadely recalled the story in the biblical book of Acts of Saul of Tarsus, a persecutor of Christians who had a dramatic encounter with the risen Christ on the road to Damascus and became known as the Apostle Paul.
“So, who knows? Perhaps this man will be like Saul in the Bible,” she said.
In an interview with WND, VOM spokesman Todd Nettleton, who conducted the radio interview, said that what makes the development “so rare is that this ISIS fighter reached out to another Christian and shared his story.”
“I believe there are secret Christians within ISIS,” Nettleton said. “Maybe the Christians they are persecuting had a chance to share with them. There are secret Christians within ISIS.”
Kevin Sutter, a YWAM director who joined Fadley in the radio interview, said an Arab leader had told him that there is a “spiritual hunger” that is “unprecedented” among Muslims.
“Many people are now following Jesus, but they keep it quiet,” Sutter said. “They haven’t gone public about it.”
He said many “even have church in their own home” and will “serve communion to one another as they’re watching TV.”
Convert, be taxed or die
ISIS has declared the creation of a caliphate in portions of Syria and Iraq, and garnered pledges of allegiance from Sunni jihadists across North Africa and in other parts of the world.
ISIS fighters have targeted anyone who does not embrace the militant Sunni Wahhabi form of Islam that originated 200 years ago in Saudi Arabia, which secretly continues to help finance ISIS.
ISIS kills all Shiite Muslims in territory it conquers as well as other ethnic minorities such as the Yazidis, whose women and children are being sold into slavery.
ISIS generally does give Christians the choice of converting to Sunni Islam, paying a tax called a jizya or being killed.
ISIS also is known to have killed other Sunni Muslims whom its fighters believe are not devout enough.
In February, ISIS beheaded 21 Coptic Christians in Libya and then in April released a propaganda video showing the beheadings of 30 Egyptian Christians, all of whom opted not to convert or pay the tax.
And now, a U.S. defense official has confirmed ISIS fighters have captured 88 Eritrean Christian refugees in Libya. A spokesman for an Eritrean refugee group said the ISIS jihadists stopped the truck and demanded the Muslims on board identify themselves. Those who claimed adherence to Islam were then asked questions about the Quran.
Nettleton said Christians should not “write off” ISIS fighters “as being out of reach of God’s grace and out of reach of God’s spirit.”
In the case of the unidentified ISIS fighter, Nettleton said he “reached out, thereby potentially blowing his cover and getting himself killed.”
“He would be told return (to Islam) or be killed,” Nettleton said. “The fact he reached out shows a great deal of courage.”
ISIS generally, however, has not accepted such repentance and has been known to kill those who may have sought to return to Islam, believing they are not faithful enough.
Muslims refer to such conversions as apostasy, which they see as a conscious abandonment of Islamic law, or Shariah, in word and deed.
Listen to the VOM radio interview:
Notable instances of “apostasy” include Rifqa Bary who in 2009 ran away from her Muslim family in Ohio, saying that they had threatened to kill her for converting to Christianity.
Today, she lives in Ohio and has written a book about her ordeal called “Hiding in the Light.”
Bary, a native of Sri Lanka, said that God’s love touched her “in such a way where I had to give myself and I couldn’t hold back and I had to leave.”
She said that when her family moved to Ohio, she was still a Muslim, but when she was introduced to Christianity, she said she found herself drawn to it because she was able to worship God in a more personal way, not by force, and in a language she was able to understand,” she told Fox News.
“When I was 13, I sought another way and did the really ‘despicable’ thing, which was praying to another God,” she said. “I was desperate just to be able to be free to worship Jesus, so I would sneak out sometimes to go to prayer meetings or I would stay up late and read the Bible in the bathroom or find any possible way.”
After her parents found out about her conversion, Bary said she feared for her life and decided to run away.
“I believe I would have been harmed, if not something more,” she said. “I can’t say. It wasn’t just one decision where I decided to leave. It was an entire life of oppression.”
In another instance, the Telegraph of London reported a woman who used the pseudonym Sofia Allam left the Muslim faith for Christianity and was threatened with death by her father.
Her father declared she had brought shame and humiliation on the family and was “worse than the muck on their shoes.”
Sofia said her father “couldn’t have me in the house now that I was a Kaffir (insulting term for non-Muslim).”
“He said I was damned forever. He insulted me horribly,” she said. “I couldn’t recognize that man as the father who had been so kind to me as I was growing up.”
She said her mother’s transformation was even worse.
“She constantly beat me about the head. She screamed at me all the time. I remember saying to them, as they were shouting death threats, ‘Mum, Dad – you’re saying you should kill me, but I’m your daughter. Don’t you realize that?'”