Displaced Christian Iraqi girl forgives ISIS, says her words come from the Holy Spirit

An Iraqi girl holds her hands up as if surrendering as US soldiers search her family home in Baquba, Iraq, in this June 30, 2007 file photo.Reuters

The unwavering faith of a young Iraqi girl who was forced to flee her homeland in the Middle East together with her family has stood out among the many horror stories on the Islamic State's terror campaign in the region.

In a recent media interview that went viral, 11-year-old refugee Maryam Behnam said despite all the transgressions committed by the ISIS, including the brutal killing and abduction of thousands of people, she said she has forgiven the jihadists. She also said that her words come from the Holy Spirit.

The Islamist extremist group overran the city of Mosul and its nearby villages in summer last year, causing more than a million to flee to Iraqi Kurdistan.

A Sat 7 reporter asked Maryam: "What are your feelings towards those who drove you out of your home and caused you hardships?"

She replied: "I won't do anything to them, I will only ask God to forgive them."

In another interview, while Maryam and her younger sister Zomorod were travelling from school to their home, a small, two-bedroom trailer in a community of Christian refugees in Erbil, a CBN reporter asked Maryam why she has forgiven the ISIS.

She said: "In the Bible Jesus said to us, 'Don't be afraid, I am with you.' And also, He said forgive others no matter who they are hating you. You have to forgive them."

"Jesus is my father, and He is my creator. I have no one else better than him. When ISIS drove us out of our home, His hand was on us and He saved us."

Her faith, she said, comes from the Holy Spirit.

"The words I am speaking to you are not coming from a random place. They come from the Holy Spirit," she said. "The Holy Spirit gave me these words to tell you."

When she grows up, Maryam said she wants to join Doctors Without Borders.

"There are people everywhere, they need treatment, but they cannot get it because they don't have enough money to go to the doctor and the doctors aren't available usually," said Maryam.

"So, this is why. As Jesus said, 'You've been given freely, you should give freely.' This is why we should love them and provide treatment."

The young girl said she cherishes the Bible because it gives hope.

"The only story in the Bible is the story of the resurrection of Christ Jesus the Lord because through that story, we can have hope."

When she prays, she said she is not asking God for more possession but that God's kingdom may reign over Iraq and for ISIS' salvation.

"When I pray, I pray that God might help us to go back home. And also that the peace of God might come all over Iraq and also, may God forgive ISIS."