Former Terrorist and Hezbollah Co-founder Speaks in Bowling Green

By: Melissa Warren Email
By: Melissa Warren Email

A proclaimed Jew and Christian, Jonathan Sacks, leader of the Hope in Messiah, Messianic-Jewish congregation, invited a man once trained to kill Jews and Christians to speak in Bowling Green today, all to prove one thing.

"Barriers that exist between people can be broken down, and people who once had hatred against each other, or enmity, can be united," said Hope in Messiah Congregation leader Jonathan Sacks.

Dr. Daniel Shayesteh once trained terrorists in Iran and Lebanon as a leader within Ayatollah Khomeini's regime.

"It was just amazing to me that I was a man preparing young boys and girls to hate Christianity," said Dr. Daniel Shayesteh.

It was when Shayesteh disowned Ayatollah's regime and escaped from a death prison to Turkey, where he studied other religions, that he made the radical shift to Christianity, the religion he was once taught to hate and extinguish.
He says he realizes that many he once trained may still be killing.

"They hate me. They want to kill me, or kill anybody who exposes Islamic values," said Shayesteh.

It's that hatred for one another that Shayesteh says must stop.

"The beauty of respect is all of us coming together... searching for the truth together. We are all neighbors here. Muslims, Hindus, Communists, Christians... Jews. People cannot survive unless they know the chapters of each others lives," said Shayesteh.

Shayestah says despite his former mistakes, he tries to advocate for peace and respect among religions. Now an author, Shayesteh is going around the country talking about his experiences, and telling his story in hopes he can bring understanding and tolerance.


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