Barbarian Heart: Former ISIS Leader Shares His Story
Mar 6, 2017
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Only the Good News of Jesus Christ can melt a barbarian heart.

As Leading The Way proclaims Gospel Truth to the Muslim world, radical Muslims are hearing the Gospel and responding. God is on the move, and he is drawing to Himself the present-day persecutors of the church. 

Recently, our team had an opportunity to interview Muhammad*—a former ISIS leader who recently became a Christian through the ministry of Leading The Way.

In the following interview excerpt, he describes in his own words his life within Islam, the impact of his relationship with Leading The Way’s follow-up team leader Peter*, and his life now as a Christian. The differences center around one thing—the love of Christ.

Faces blurred for their protection

"Experiencing Christ’s love through Peter gave me the courage to believe in Christ."


When I began attending church with Peter, I experienced a love that doesn’t exist within Islam. I witnessed Christians helping all people and wishing good to all—even their enemies who want to hurt them. Previously, my ISIS comrades had exiled and abandoned me. There had been talk of brotherly love and championing the cause of Islam, yet when trials came I saw that these were only empty words.

Experiencing Christ’s love through Peter gave me the courage to believe in Christ and make the decision to be baptized. After my baptism, I felt a sense of victory and joy that I cannot describe. I also felt a great sense of victory over Satan. 

It has taken me a long time to realize, but now I understand that Satan is the God of Islam. Today, I see that I spent 30 years of my life thinking I was serving God while I was really serving Satan. 

When I first met Peter, I planned on killing him. I believed he had to die because he was an apostate. But now, if someone tried to throw so much as a flower at my brother Peter, I would protect him with my life. 

One of the most impactful Bible verses to me is, “Bless those who curse you” (see Luke 6:28). Before, when I was a Muslim, I would have said that whoever cursed me should die. But now, as a Christian, the notion of killing is gone and I believe that I should love even my enemy. Killing is easy, but forgiveness and love—these things are supernatural and require a much greater power.

Today, I live to be a servant of the Lord Jesus and make Him known to all people. And I know that since I have surrendered my life to Him, He promises to never leave me or forsake me.


Through your prayers and partnership, Leading The Way is proclaiming the Truth of Christ and discipling new believers like Muhammad on the ground in the Muslim world—and God is transforming the enemies of the cross into evangelists for the name of Christ.

Learn more about our outreach to the Muslim world, and consider partnering with us today.

*Names changed for their protection.