ISIS Trainer Turns to the Bible, 'Sick of the Killing'
As Islamic State fighters continue to slaughter and behead Christians and others, some of its members are reportedly having encounters with Christ.
A Middle East missionary named "Julian" says a sheik who served as a jihadist teacher for ISIS has turned to the Bible because he became "sick of the killing."
The Operation Mobilization missionary shared the story with Todd Nettleton on the Voice of the Martyrs radio show. Julian said the sheik was traveling home from Lebanon when he asked a taxi driver for a Bible.
"The taxi driver knew a Christian in Beirut who was very happy to give the guy with the beard a Bible and then, 'Sir, would you like to tell us why you're looking for a Bible?' And his response was 'I'm from Saudi. I'm a sheikh,' which means a teacher of Islam," Julian recounted the story. "'I've been in Syria teaching the ISIS fighters jihad 101,' the theology and the practice of jihad. 'I'm sick of the killing. There must be something better than this.'"
VOM's Nettleton explained, "He had come to see that the violence of ISIS was not the path to peace. He was tired of it; he wanted something else, and so he was interested in having a Bible. "
The story of that Saudi sheik is the latest of several reports about jihadists either converting to Christianity, or desiring to learn more about the faith.
A growing number of former Muslims around the world report coming to Christ after having a dream or vision of Jesus. ISIS members are no exception.
For instance, Julian told of an ISIS fighter who had a vision of the cross, and then stumbled onto a Christian website. That terrorist later became a believer after meeting a Christian in Turkey.
Nettleton said he believes Julian's accounts are credible.
"He's a worker with decades of experience in the Middle East; he's lived there; he speaks the language; he knows the culture, knows the people. So, it's reputable because of his credibility and because of OM's credibility," Nettleton said.
"But it's also a credible story because it's consistent with what we're hearing from that part of the world from our own VOM staff as well as from church leaders and other Christians there," he added.
And just last month, a Youth with a Mission (YWAM) field worker told the story of an ISIS fighter who enjoyed killing Christians. He left Islam for Christianity after Jesus appeared to him in a dream."
ISIS is also having an unintended impact on some other Middle East Muslims.
"And it's not the effect necessarily that they want. What it is forcing Muslims to do is it is forcing them to examine their own faith," Nettleton explained. "Many Muslims look at ISIS and they look into the Koran and they say, 'Wait a minute. If that's Islam, I don't want that. I don't want to do that; I don't want to be that.'"
Listen to the entire interview below: