When the world sees the barbaric acts of ISIS, there tends to be talk of either war or hopelessness and defeat. Despite the evil, some Christians say God is at work in areas where darkness seems to reign.
As ISIS conquered parts of northern Iraq and persecuted Christian minorities, the Gospel actually began to spread.
"So besides the darkness coming in, trying to get the salt and light out—killing lives and bringing so much pain and suffering—on the other hand, we're seeing the rise of the presence of God, worship, prayer, experiencing Jesus and people being open to the Gospel and being open to follow Him, even from Muslim background," one man named Fabian, who asked that his full name not be disclosed, told CBN News.
Fabian leads a house of prayer in Kurdistan. He said he's met a number of people who've had supernatural encounters with Jesus.
"People in these streets and in these refugee camps, from places where ISIS has occupied, even people from here are encountering Jesus in dreams and visions," Fabian said.
Those divine encounters are not limited to ISIS-controlled areas. It's a phenomenon happening throughout the Middle East.
CBN News met with some Iranians visiting Kurdistan who wanted to share their stories. We concealed their identities for their own protection.
"Suddenly, one of the nights when I was in my bed, I just dreamed and the Light was speaking as I'm speaking to you now," A woman we'll call "Abby" told CBN News. "It was speaking to me and calling my name verbally and saying 'Come to me. I will save you and I will rescue you.'"
"But I didn't understand, actually, how this could be. Others in the dream said, 'Come with us, please do not hesitate. Come to us and we will rescue you.' I believed in the dream, but I didn't surrender my whole life to the source of the light, which was Christ," she explained.
That decision soon followed for "Abby" and her mother.
"This year, about seven months ago, we made our own decision to follow Jesus with all our hearts," she continued.
"When we came here, they gave us an explanation about the life of Christ and the Kingdom of God according to the Gospel," she said. "Here we realized the dream that I dreamed was Jesus. He is calling us to give us salvation and to give us rest, to give us life."
CBN News asked what dangers Abby faces back in Iran.
"If people knew about my faith, I would be rejected by the people," she said. "This is a kind of social persecution. If the government knew about my faith, I would be executed or hanging in the street at once."
Another woman, "Barbara," began to read the New Testament.
"When I first started to read the Gospel, a power came out through the Bible to my heart," she explained. "It was just like a small rock in the middle of a sea, yes, of the sea ... a power came into my life and I felt that I'm not the same person."
"I'm about to reborn and coming out from something very dead, very bad and something that happened to me is unique," she said.
Then came her dream.
"One of the nights when I went to my bed I saw, I saw Jesus," she continued. "He was talking about me in heaven—about the Kingdom of God. When I saw Jesus, He was pointing out to me. Later He told me that I had to read the Gospel in order to strengthen my faith and be able to share my faith with my friends."
"I didn't see actually His face, but I saw His form, you know," she recalled. "He was a King and His kingdom—or His kingship rule—was over the whole universe and everybody was bowing down to Him. He was talking about His kingdom and I was one of those who stood before Him."
CBN News asked Barbara how she feels now.
"I feel I have a very huge, big treasure. As much as I'm giving away from it, more comes back to it," she said.
"You know Iran is a very dangerous place. If you don't think just like the others or the majority, you'd be considered as a rebel," she said. "So that means you will choose your fate or your death by your own hand."
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