A Pakistani Christian girl who escaped ISIS captivity after being tortured, raped, and forced to convert to Islam, has shared how she never lost her faith in Jesus Christ throughout the horrific ordeal.
Now 15, Komal and her family members were kidnapped by Islamic State militants last year.
"I was sleeping along with my mother on a single bed during a power-cut time in my house yard," she told International Christian Concern (ICC), describing the evening she was abducted.
"At around midnight, five armed men with masks climbed over the boundary wall and entered into [our] house. The armed men brutally beat the entire family and threatened them [with] severe consequences if they shouted for help," she recalled.
Komal continued: "Then, the kidnappers dragged me from my mother's lap to their car in the street. My eyes and mouth were covered with a piece of cloth and they took me to [an] unknown place where five of them raped me in front of each other, taking turns."
Over the next few months, Komal suffered unrelenting abuse at the hands of the militants.
"Burning my female parts with cigarettes was a routine exercise for them," she said. "Almost for two months they beat me every day for nothing and did not give [me] enough food to eat."
Even worse - Komal, who was eventually impregnated by one of her rapists, was forced to legally change her religion from Christianity to Islam and marry one of her captors with forged documents claiming she was 18.
"After almost two months of inhuman treatment and humiliation, they took me to the courthouse and forced me to put my thumb impression on a document that declared me the wife of a Muslim," she said.
"I did not want this to happen, however, I had no other option because they threatened to kill my parents if I did not obey. Therefore, they forcefully married me to a Muslim and converted me to Islam. Without my wish they changed my religion, my identity and even my name," the young woman recalled. "My new husband, who continued to rape me for the next two months, then moved to another city. This man already had two wives at his house."
Her new husband forced Komal to become a prostitute, which she described as the worst agony of all: "I felt like dying every day... I had become a forced prostitute. He even hired a watch-woman to keep an eye on me almost round the clock."
Despite the shocking abuse, Komal held fast to her faith in Jesus Christ throughout the entire ordeal, believing that he would be faithful and rescue her from her pain.
"I had faith that Jesus would get me out of this hell," she told ICC.
Miraculously, in February, Komal was presented with the perfect opportunity to escape.
"Before sunrise, I managed to sneak away from the house to an urban area after walking about five hours. I begged for money from the people there to cover a bus fare and was able to reach my home after sunset on the same day," she said.
Today, Komal holds no anger or resentment against those who harmed her. Instead, she is overwhelmed with gratitude for the One who saved her.
"I am thankful for this mercy and the miracle of rejoining my parents now. I couldn't stop crying when I hugged my parents and family for the first time," she said. "One can hardly imagine the painful situation which I and my parents experienced. It was like rising from the dead."
However, she still questions the future of her unborn child: "I am confused about what to do with my unborn baby. What will the future of my child be if I give birth to him or her?"
The young woman also wants a legal divorce from her "husband," but does not have the means to go about such a process: "I want justice, but do not want to put my parents in danger," Komal said. "Those people are very rich and influential and therefore we cannot go into the legal process against them. I just want to be divorced and try to plan a happier life."
Sadly, Komal is just one of thousands of Christian and Yazidi women in the Middle East who suffered at the hands of Islamic State militants who, under Islamic Law, are permitted to capture and forcibly make "heretical" women sexual slaves.
Last month, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry officially declared ISIS is committing "genocide" against Christians and other ancient minority groups in the region.
While the designation does not change U.S. policy, Mark Arabo, president of the California-based Minority Humanitarian Foundation, said it will raise international consciousness and morally compel lawmakers to pass legislation protecting Christians and other minorities.
"Congress, the President, and the State Department now have a moral obligation to act," Arabo told The Gospel Herald. It's not enough that they recognized the problem, they need to fix the problem. We hope and pray that the moral conscience of Congress is going to wake up, and God will open up their hearts and minds to the victims of genocide."
Arabo, who is the president of the California-based Minority Humanitarian Foundation, said the recognition also provides hope to those who, like Komal, are suffering for their faith.
"Christians are being massacred because of their faith," he said. "Their churches have been bombed, their houses have been taken away, their clothes have been stripped from them. They're left in the desert in camps, begging for someone to rescue them. They've lost everything they have because of ISIS, but they haven't lost their faith, they haven't lost their hope."