Christians, this is what real faith looks like.
Take the time to read and study the entire story, because this is what real faith in the face of persecution looks like. She was raped, tortured, enslaved, harassed, even by Mohammed “Jihadi John” Emwazi himself before his death, but she endured in her faith until the end, never submitting to Islam:
American hostage Kayla Mueller was tortured, verbally abused, forced into slave labor for ISIS commanders in Syria and raped by the group’s top leader, but her fellow hostages say she never surrendered hope, she selflessly put the welfare of fellow captives above her own and she even stood up to executioner “Jihadi John” to defend her Christian faith.
The only period in Mueller’s 18 horrifying months as an ISIS hostage when she wasn’t subjected to some form of torture, verbal abuse, prolonged isolation, sensory deprivation, stress positions, forced labor or sexual assault before she died in captivity was the six weeks she was held at an abandoned oil refinery in Syria, with other Western hostages in 2014.
Because many of the ISIS captives were being individually negotiated for ransom with their governments, employers or families, the women, at least, inside the makeshift prison south of ISIS stronghold Raqqa were not subjected to the kind of abuses that Mueller said she experienced in other ISIS prisons before and after her time there, according to the Mueller family and those held captive with her.
Three of the Westerners released by ISIS and a Yazidi teenager who escaped captivity provided eyewitness accounts to ABC News of Mueller’s strength, selflessness and will to survive amid her considerable suffering, including details she gave them of her treatment when she was completely alone for most of her confinement by the terrorist group.
“They would scream at her, and they would, you know, blame her for everything that America has done in the world,” Frida Saide, one of three women from Doctors Without Borders who shared a cell with Mueller at the oil refinery, told ABC News in an interview this month.
“They picked her apart,” said Patricia Chavez, one of the other Doctors Without Borders aid workers held with Mueller.
In the Sayyaf household, Mueller went by “Kayla Carl,” per the Muslim custom of referring to women with their father’s name. All the girls, including Mueller, were beaten by the ISIS family — but Mueller also had to go to al-Baghdadi at night, as ABC News first reported last year.
“Baghdadi took her several times in the night for himself,” Julia recounted, noting that Mueller would return later and try to not to cry, though at times she broke down.
She told the girls that part of surviving was being forced to pretend she had converted to Islam so the ISIS leader could sexually assault her, though she still clung secretly to her Christian faith.
“When she was with us, she wanted to encourage us because of also what happened with us,” Julia said, noting the girls were taken in the night by ISIS men. “She was very tired every time. She was not crying every night, but she was very tired.” (source)
During Roman times, Christians were tortured to death in similar ways and for the same reasons, which is the evil satisfaction of the persecutors. Yet these same people who persisted until the end are now counted among the great men and women of the Church, and their stories are recounted throughout the generations.
Ultimately, nothing matters more in this world than being faithful to God because He is our maker. He gave us life and we will return to Him. Because God’s nature is love, then to obey Him is to reflect the nature of God, which is love. Ultimately, this is why were made- to love and to be loved, and as such it is for us to obey love always.
When stories like this come out, there is always somebody there saying “well if God exists why did He allow that to happen if He is so good like you say.” This is and has always been bunch of garbage, because the fact is that as much as what God allows we truly do not understand now because we do not have His perspective, there is also the element of human choice.
Think of how the world looks from Google Earth- a bird’s eye view- and then how it looks on Google Street view. You have two different perspectives of the same place. Men see the world like in street view- how their immediate surroundings look. God sees the world as both street but also aerial view- He sees how things look and fit into the “bigger picture” because He is God, and He knows and directs all things to work together for the greater good for everybody.
Human will is also a major factor. God gives men free will and with the intention of choosing what is right, but man does not have to choose what is right if he does not want to, even though it will ultimately not benefit him. If he wants to, men can do evil, and even inflict evil upon others. This is the effect of sin on the world which has persisted to this day and will not be eliminated until Christ returns.
The fact is that the means of why certain things happened are less important than the end. This woman remained faithful to the end and, given that she was praying constantly for her captors and fellow prisoner, she not only likely helped save their lives, but may have changed even a few of the hearts of those evil ISIS fighters.
ISIS forced her to wear Islamic garb and make videos. They would say she converted to Islam but that was not true, and she insisted she was a Christian to her captors and fellow prisoners, who were all surprised and inspired by her persistence in faith.
Christianity is, as St. Juan de Ribera referred to it, the gateway to eternal beatitude. It is for those who, in spite of being mere and sinful men, persist in spite of their sins and the obstruction of others to “finish the race” as St. Paul says and then having endured to enter into eternal life with God and to be happy with him ever after.
Islam is coming, and one day the Muslims may ask you the same question they asked her and do the same things as they did to her to you.
Mohammed “Jihadi John” Emwazi
He was both an executioner for ISIS as the chief man torturing, raping,and pressuring her to convert to Islam.