It has become a common occurrence over the years for Muslims in the Middle East who have converted to Christianity to claim to have been compelled to do so after dreaming of a person who they believe is Jesus Christ. Now, one militant belonging to the brutal Islamic State that has massacred Christians has converted to his victims' religion after dreaming of "a man in white" with a startling message, according to one missionary's account.
"One of our YWAM workers in the Middle East was contacted by a friend earlier this year and they met up and he was introduced to an ISIS fighter who had killed many Christians already. I mean that's a horrible situation, and admittedly, he was probably on guard," Gina Fadely, director of Youth With A Mission Frontier Missions, Inc. (YWAM), said during a recent appearance on The Voice of the Martyrs Radio Network.
YWAM, a nonprofit missionary organization active since 1960, describes itself as "a global movement of Christians from many cultures, age groups, and Christian traditions, dedicated to serving Jesus throughout the world." The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) is another nonprofit that draws attention to Christians facing persecution around the world.
Fadely, who appeared on the VOM radio program along with Kevin Sutter, another YWAM leader, went on to share that this Islamic State jihadi confessed not only to killing Christians but "that he had actually enjoyed doing so."
"He told this YWAM leader that he had begun having dreams of this man in white who came to him and said, 'You are killing my people.' And he started to feel really sick and uneasy about what he was doing," Fadely continued. "The fighter said just before he killed one Christian, the man said, 'I know you will kill me, but I give to you my Bible.' The Christian was killed and this ISIS fighter actually took the Bible and began to read it. In another dream, Jesus asked him to follow him and he was now asking to become a follower of Christ and to be discipled."
"So who knows. Perhaps this man will be like Saul in the Bible that persecuted Christians and he turned from that persecution of the early church to become the Apostle Paul who led it," Fadely added. "God can turn it around."
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also referred to ISIL and most recently Daesh, has been since 2013 waging a bloody campaign to establish a caliphate, or a Sunni-led Islamic government, across Northern Africa and throughout the Middle East, although its leadership claims the intention to reach as far as the Vatican in Rome.
The jihadists' methods are cruel and involve brutal firing squads, hangings, stonings, and beheadings of religious minorities such as Yazidis, Christians, and even other Muslims who go against its hard-line rule. The Islamic State startled the world when it released videos of its members killing groups of Ethiopian Christians in Libya by viciously hacking their heads from their bodies.
His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, said after the April killing of one group of 21 Ethiopian Christians that believers should "forgive and pray for the perpetrators."
Todd Nettleton, host of VOM Radio featuring the YWAM directors, stated during the program that the next time Christians hear about more atrocities committed by Islamic State militants, they should not "write them off as being out of reach of God's grace and out of reach of God's spirit."
Sutter, the other YWAM director who appeared with Fadley on the VOM Radio program, shared that he has learned from one of his leaders in the Arab world, an Arab man, that he had been witnessing a "spiritual hunger" that was "unprecedented" among Muslims.
"Many people are now following Jesus but they keep it quiet. They haven't gone public about it. They even have church in their own home, they're watching, they'll serve communion to one another as they're watching TV," Sutter said.
Fadely suggested that God was using dreams to give YWAM missionaries a helping hand in reaching otherwise hard-to-reach groups in the Middle East with the Christian message. She said she believed that dreams were one way in which God was convincing Muslims and other non-Christians to believe in Jesus as savior.
Nabeel Qureshi, an apologist and the author of Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity, explained the significance of dreams to Muslims in a March interview with The Christian Post.
"In Muslim cultures, generally speaking, people don't see themselves as being able to commune with God. Communion is a very Christian concept and the idea that Christ has torn down the veil — in a lot of cultures the veil is still up. In Islam, for example, people don't expect to have God talk back to them personally, as the Holy Spirit isn't living in them. They ask God for guidance through dreams; that's like the one way that Muslims expect to hear from God," Qureshi explained.
"For someone to reach out and ask, 'God, can you tell me about you?' Or, 'If you're Jesus, can you show me a dream?' That's not strange at all. ... That's kind of what Muslims do," he added.
Christians have been skeptical of Muslims' claims that "Jesus dreams" have led them to Christianity, but longtime Southern Baptist missionary David Garrison also affirms that many Muslims have been inspired through these dreams to believe in Jesus as more than a prophet, as he is acknowledged in Islam. The CBN video below also looks at the phenomenon and offers the accounts of former Muslims who claim dreams of Jesus changed their lives.