Muslim Militiaman Turned Missionary Spreading Peace of Christ

Hicham Chehab is a missionary with a difference. A Lebanese-born Muslim, he took up arms with his brother during the Lebanese Civil War between Christians and Muslims.

His brother was killed by Christians and he himself still bears the scar of an attack by Christians. Despite this, he says the teachings of Jesus led him to a life of spreading the peace of the Gospel.

During the Civil War, he joined a Muslim militia together with his brother, who served as a captain until he was killed.

He learned how to use rocket launchers, mortars and rifles and was told, "If you want to shoot straight, imagine that there is a Christian in your sights," according to Chicago's Daily Herald. In the war, he fought as a sniper.

While he was studying at the American University in Beirut, Chehab's brother was killed by a Christian militia while he was trying to negotiate a truce. Following his brother's death, Chehab brought two pistols and a silencer to campus with the intention of killing Christians.

But during his studies he came across the teachings of Jesus which had a profound effect on him, especially the Sermon on the Mount and its call to "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."

Chehab said, "I who was stalking my enemies with a gun and a silencer at night heard for the first time, 'love your enemy.' I felt this was superhuman or ridiculous. My enemy was somebody who killed my only brother, my only sibling, the shoulder I used to cry on."

Since coming to Jesus he has become a missionary at Salem ("Peace" in Arabic and Persian) Church, in Peace Lutheran Church in Lombard. The Lutheran Arabic Church, which has been operating for one year, serves refugees and immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan and Palestine.

Chehab said it was called "Peace" Church because only the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, can bring reconciliation to the people of the Middle East. Chehab says he is now devoted to bringing peace between Christians and Muslims in Lebanon.

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