Many of them turned to Jesus Christ and opened up Kobani’s first church in decades called “Church of the Brethren.” It is the only evangelical church in Kobani.
Some of the Muslim residents In Kobani are leaving behind Islam and turning to Christianity, years after the Islamic State laid siege to the Syrian town, reported CBN.
Christianity is one of the region’s minority faiths that was persecuted by the Islamic State.
Back in 2015, Kobani was the epicenter in the battle against ISIS.
The years following the siege, many Muslims became agnostic or atheist, but others turned to Jesus and opened up Kobani’s first church in decades called “Church of the Brethren.” It is the only evangelical church in Kobani.
The converts say the experience of war and the onslaught of a group claiming to fight for Islam pushed them toward their new faith. After a number of families converted, the Syrian-Turkish border town’s first evangelical church opened last year, according to Reuters.
Many of the new converts to Christ say the violence ISIS brought to their region left them disillusioned with Islam.
The church’s current pastor, Zani Bakr, 34, arrived last year from Afrin, a town in northern Syria. He converted in 2007.
“After the war with Islamic State people were looking for the right path, and distancing themselves from Islam,” church founder Omar Firas told Reuters. “People were scared and felt lost.”
Firas reported that approximately 80 to 100 people in Kobani now worship at the evangelical church.
“We meet on Tuesdays and hold a service on Fridays. It is open to anyone who wants to join,” he said.
Firas founded the church while a new representative form of government in northeast Syria called the “Self Administration of Syria” (SANES) was emerging. Firas told CBN News his church would never have been allowed under ISIS.
“We can express our rituals with complete freedom,” he said.
“Because this project is democratic and for the first time it has recognized we as a Syriac Christians and recognized our language, culture and even our religion,” SANES Executive Council VP Elizabeth Kourie told CBN News.
Thousands of Christians fled the region over decades of sectarian strife. From Syria they have often headed for Lebanon and European countries.
The population of Kobani and its surroundings has neared its original 200,000 after people returned, although only 40,000 live in the town itself, much of which lies in ruins.