Syrian Christians have shared how they converted from Islam to Christianity after witnessing the brutality of Islamic extremist groups like ISIS, who carried out barbaric acts in the name of Allah.
Members of the recently-established Church of the Brethren in Kobani — the first local Christian place of worship for decades — shared with NBC News how Christianity appealed to them after living under Sharia law.
Farhad Jasim, 23, who works as a mechanic, converted to Christianity late last year. He told NBC he was jailed by ISIS for six months in early 2016 after the militants discovered he didn’t know the basics of Islam. During his time in captivity, he was tortured and forced to read the Quran.
“After I witnessed their brutality with my own eyes, I started to be skeptical about my belief,” Jasim said.
After hearing about the Church of the Brethren, which opened in September and is part of a denomination that dates back to 18th-century Germany, Jasim decided to visit: “It didn’t take me long to discover that Christianity was the religion I was searching for,” he said.
Jasim told the outlet his family has rejected him because of his newfound faith and expressed hope that one day, his loved ones will not only forgive him but embrace Christianity, too.
“If ISIS represents Islam, I don’t want to be a Muslim anymore,” he said. “Their God is not my God.”
Firas, a 47-year-old farmer, told NBC he converted to Christianity after living under ISIS for two years. He recalled how militants would terrorize anyone who didn’t adhere to their particular brand of Islam.
“I saw men and young teenagers being whipped on the streets because they were caught smoking. I saw dead bodies of young men being thrown from high buildings for being gay,” Firas said. “This was their Islam.”
“If heaven is made for ISIS and their belief, I would choose hell for myself instead of being again with them in the same place, even if it’s paradise,” he added.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett