How ISIS Helped Salmaa Become a Christian

by Garrett Kell May 14, 2015

Due to the risk of her safety, Salmaa’s name has been changed and other identifying details have been left out. Her story, however, is true and wonderfully encouraging. Pray for many more like it.

Salmaa’s journey to knowing Jesus was spurred on by emptiness. She lacked peace and longed to know who God was and what purpose He might have for her life. She was raised in a Middle Eastern country where she and everyone around her believed that Allah was the one true god.

But as Salmaa read the Quran, she only found deeper emptiness as she was confronted with a god who was mean, unkind, and unpredictable. After much study, she closed the Quran. She was dissatisfied and left without answers, but the longing to be near to God remained.

By God’s grace and wonderful sovereignty, Salmaa was given a Bible and heard the good news about Jesus. She heard that He was not just a prophet, but was God in the flesh who mercifully died and rose to forgive anyone who would believe in Him.

As she read the Bible, she was drawn to the One who seemed to speak through its pages. As she read, she became convinced that the Bible was indeed the “word of Life” that pointed to the “Word of life.”

Seeking to know Him came with many obstacles and danger, but Salmaa continued to pursue Him. The longing to have peace, righteousness, and nearness to God could not be quenched. And in recent days, her longing to know Jesus has intensified by the most unlikely of circumstances.

As Salmaa watched the news and saw the murder of 21 Ethiopian Christians by the hands of ISIS, she was strangely drawn to the peace she found on the faces of the men who knelt in honor of Jesus.

How could they be at such peace with God?

How could they look so comforted in their final moments?

Salmaa knew there was a power in them that she did not understand, but knew it must have come from the God she had read of in the Bible—and she wanted to possess that same peace.

Days later, as the testimonies of the families of those martyred brothers emerged, she was once again left baffled. The families offered forgiveness for those whom murdered their sons, brothers, and fathers. One mother said she praised God that her son was in heaven now and that she would like to invite the ISIS soldiers into her home so she could tell them more about the Savior her son loved so much.

How could those family members forgive these murders of their sons and husbands and fathers?

This too, she knew, was not a response that could come from natural man, but from God.

She shared that ISIS thinks they are destroying and ending Christianity by killing Christians, but what they do not understand is that their evil acts are causing people to look not at them, but at these who are dying with the peace of Jesus. They are seeing faces of peace, comfort, and power and this is causing them to seek answers, and to come to know the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Salmaa’s eyes are being opened by the graciousness and mercy of our Lord. And she is not the only one, this is the testimony of many Muslims whom God is drawing to see that Jesus is indeed more than a prophet.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we have a God who is able to take the most horrendous of evils and use them for His glory and the good of those He calls to Himself (Genesis 50:20 ; Romans 8:28 ; Colossians 2:13-15 ).