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Surviving ISIS: An Encouraging Story From Iraq

ISIS seems to be all over the news and the stories never end well. They are known for the gruesome murders of many innocent Christians especially in the middle east. Today I want to share with you about a young girl who, along with her family, became homeless at the hands of ISIS.

Her name is Maryam and she is 11-years-old. But most people have no idea who this Christian from Iran is.

While most people have heard of the plight of Pastor Saeed Abedini who is currently in an Iranian prison, wrongly imprisoned for his faith, most people haven’t heard of a little girl named Maryam.

Maryam was recently interviewed just after being driven out from her town, and she says she won’t do anything to ISIS in retaliation for what they are doing to her and people around her.

She simply wants God to forgive them. 

It’s easy to get wrapped up in these tragic stories then get that reminder of what C.S. Lewis once stated, “All Christians are to become little Christs.”

Maryam is taking those words as truth as she lives her life and hopes to join Doctors Without Borders when she is older. Further, she goes on to state the verses where Jesus commands us to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44). But the greatest citation she makes is what she calls the greatest love story–the story of Jesus dying on the cross and being resurrected.

The resurrection is what gives her hope, and if anything I pray people see her life as a living testimony of what it’s like to take up your cross and really live for Jesus. ISIS has tried to destroy her but she prays for them.

Maryam was asked where does she get such wisdom as noted above. She said these aren’t just words but truth coming from the Holy Spirit. She also has a message for kids in the United States:

“Don’t be afraid of loving God and they should learn from us and our lives. Don’t do things for the sake of yourselves but for the glory of God.”

How do you think you would respond if you faced Maryam’s situation?


You can read more about this brave, young Christian here, on Christianity Today.

About Sarah Malcangi

Sarah loves Jesus and is unashamed to tell the world about His truth and bold love! Her purpose is to encourage others to seek the truth as they pursue who they are in Christ. She is also a Mom and feels blessed to call Colorado her home.

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  1. Stephanie Hanouw

    To be perfectly honest, without the grace of having gone through the situation, I would likely not be praying for them…oh, I could say the words, but I’m not so sure of their real sincerity. I think the grace of God for the moment would probably make a difference.

  2. Probably not as well as her. God bless that girl.

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