A mother finds her young daughter alive after a bombing and kidnapping at the school. She decides to flee Syria that very hour.
A father waits in line every day to cross through a government-controlled area to his family. Every day he watches the soldiers shoot three or four people in the line, not knowing if today will be his turn to die.
As millions of refugees pour out of Syria and Iraq, ISIS is helping the cause of Christ. Muslims fleeing to neighboring countries and the European Union are converting to Christianity at a high rate. Why is this so?
This week and next, we will ask two questions about ISIS:
- How is ISIS pushing Muslims away from Islam?
- Are members of ISIS true Muslims or not?
Last year I predicted, “The brutality of ISIS will cause millions of Muslims to have an objective look at Islam. Many of them will come to reject Islam and become open to the message of the Gospel.” This is exactly what has been happening.
Workers in refugee camps tell me that amid the suffering and anxiety, Muslims are becoming open to the message of Christ. Now as refugees pour over the borders, we are seeing many more flee not only their countries but also their Islamic faith. Hundreds of Muslims seeking asylum in Germany are choosing to follow Jesus. One church in Berlin welcomed 450 new members in a short time. They believe; they are baptized; they hope.
How is ISIS pushing Muslims away from Islam?
Refugees are escaping Iraq and Syria, both countries torn by civil war that pits one Muslim against another. More than half the 22 million Syrians have been forced to leave their homes. Everywhere, houses are destroyed by ISIS or President Assad’s Shiite government, security forces harass civilians, and armed militants bomb and attack. In Iraq, ISIS is threatening the takeover of the whole country. The people are hurting, and they believe rightly that it is the Islamic practices of ISIS that are hurting them.
The brutality of ISIS is causing Muslims to question their faith. We must understand, this questioning is a major spiritual breakthrough for any Muslim. Jesus commands us to seek and ask, and Paul commends Bereans for questioning his teachings. But, in Islam, questioning your faith is not allowed. Those who question Islam are often shunned as infidels and are punished—sometimes with lashes. So when a Muslim comes to a point in his/her spiritual journey to start asking questions, he has already taken steps towards spiritual freedom. So their suffering in the hands of ISIS causes them to ask, “What is true Islam?” Then after looking at Islam objectively, they come to conclusion that the problem is not just with ISIS, but there is something fundamentally wrong with Islam itself. That along with the love and support they receive from Christians causes a large number of them embrace Christianity.
In my next blog, we will look at the question “Are the followers of ISIS good Muslims?”
The answer may shock you.