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Nothing is so beautiful as the moment when you turn your life over to God, when you surrender your heart's desires and ask for His will to be done.
In the Middle East, staggering numbers reveal just how many Muslims are falling in love with their savior. Among them, former jihadist Bashir Mohammad.
His conversion is so powerful, The New York Times reported how Mohammad is a new creation in Christ.
Mohammad was a member of an al-Qaeda off-shoot on the front lines of the Syrian civil war.
Mr. Mohammad flirted with extremism in his teens. His cousin took him to hear jihadist preachers as a 15-year-old, and he adhered to some of the most extreme interpretations of Islam, "even the ones you haven't heard of." But when war broke out in Syria, after the country's 2011 uprising, Mr. Mohammad initially joined the secular Kurdish forces in their fight for autonomy.
Mr. Mohammad's subsequent ideological journey rarely made complete sense. But by his account, he became traumatized by the deaths he witnessed on the front line, which in turn reenergized his interest in the extremist versions of Islam that he had learned about as a teenager.
"When I saw all these dead bodies," he said, "it made me believe all these things they said in the lectures. It made me seek the greatness of religion." Or, at least, his violent interpretations of that religion.
But when Mohammad saw Muslims killing Muslims, he drew the line. The cousin who first introduced Mohammad to radical Islam had found Jesus.
Mohammad picked up a Bible and was overwhelmed by the peace of God. So did his wife.
For Mr. Mohammad and Ms. Rashid (his wife), perhaps it was their dreams that sealed their conversion. As the couple began to consider leaving Islam, Ms. Rashid said she dreamed of a biblical figure who used heavenly powers to divide the waters of the sea, which Mr. Mohammad interpreted as a sign of encouragement from Jesus. Then, Mr. Mohammad himself dreamed Jesus had given him some chickpeas. The pair felt loved.
Now, the couple leads a prayer meeting among fellow refugees.
"There's a big gap between the god I used to worship and the one I worship now," Mohammad said. "We used to worship in fear. Now everything has changed."
The couple is not alone in finding Christ in the midst of chaos.
Muslim refugees fleeing the increasing violence in their home countries and cities are shedding their Islamic religion for Christianity, Charisma News previously reported.
"They have to leave their context and their families. They know that whoever leaves Islam should be killed. These wonderful new believers will become preachers all over the Middle East. God is waking up a sleeping church; a new nation of new believers is being born," an unnamed pastor tells Open Doors.
Jessilyn Justice is the director of online news for Charisma. Born and raised in a pastor's family in Alabama, she went to Lee University and the Washington Journalism Center. She's passionate sharing God's goodness through storytelling. Tell her what you think of this story on Twitter @jessilynjustice.
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