Persecution of our Iranian members

Members of the Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light in Iran endure severe state-sponsored religious persecution and vigilante violence. They are unable to openly practice their faith and live in constant fear for their safety and lives. The Iranian authorities label them as “heretics” and “infidels,” branding their religion as a “misguided movement.”

Persecution since 2019

Since the beginning of 2019, the Iranian regime has launched a vicious campaign to hunt down and prosecute members of this faith. Teachings of the faith challenge the concept of the so-called “Rule of the Jurisprudent” or (Wilayat Al Faqih), which forms the ideological basis of the Iranian regime, and ascribes absolute authority to the clergy. For this, members of the faith were called “enemies of the state” and the religion was officially declared a “hostile and deviant group.” Tenets of the faith also include the abrogation of the five daily prayers, the headscarf not being mandatory for women, the acceptance of LGBTQ members in the faith and that the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest site is in Petra, Jordan not Mecca. The faith is headed by Abdullah Hashem Aba Al-Sadiq, an American-Egyptian, held by his followers to be the awaited successor of Prophet Mohammed and the awaited Mahdi.

Government propaganda against the call of the Qaim Aba Al-Sadiq (From Him is Peace)

As a result, since 2019, the Iranian regime has conducted raids on the homes of the members, subjecting them to assaults in front of their families, arrests, and threats of execution if they continued practicing their faith. Many of them were put under tight surveillance and family members were pressured to report them to the authorities for being “traitors of the state. Charges such as “insulting the leadership” and “opposition to the principle of the system” are used against them. In 2019 the Iranian government even produced a propaganda documentary defaming the leader and the faith, and portraying him as a zionist, specifically because the faith holds the 6-pointed star as a symbol of the faith.
The documentary was broadcast on national television, giving rise to incidents of police harassment, attacks by plain-clothed policemen, and family members and neighbors reporting members to the police.

Individual Persecution against supporters of the Qaim Aba Al-Sadiq in Iran

For instance, two members from the city of Babel reported a harrowing experience where their homes were surrounded by five police cars, and over 20 officers stormed in. They were subjected to physical assault, blindfolding, and solitary confinement, ultimately receiving prison sentences ranging from 5 to 10 years. Another member was exiled from Tehran for two years. Additionally, the government applied pressure on employers to terminate their employment, placing them under significant economic strain. Officers from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance summoned members and their families, coercing them to sign contracts renouncing any involvement with the Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light. Disturbingly, members have also reported being forcibly admitted to mental asylums by their own family members, as exemplified by the case of Leila Hossein from Tehran, who was restrained by her husband and son and subjected to antipsychotic medication when she disclosed her beliefs. Another member, Puria Lotfinallou, shared a similar account, being locked in a mental institution by his family and forcibly administered antipsychotic medicine.

Leila Hossein

Puria Lotfinallou

Another incident occurred last October when a member named Sayed Ali was brutally attacked by undercover Iranian police officers during a wedding in his hometown. The officers, aware of his affiliation with the Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light, assaulted him with sticks, causing severe injuries to his legs and cracking his skull open. He  bled profusely for 25 minutes until he reached the hospital, where he required several nights of treatment, including 17 serums and injections.

SeyedAli Seyed Mousavi

Arrest of adults and minors in evin prison

These instances of abuse against Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light members in Iran have escalated significantly following the release of the official gospel of the religion, titled “The Goal of the Wise.” International human rights organizations and media outlets, such as Human Rights Without Frontiers, The Human Rights Activist News Agency, and Iran International TV station, have reported on the arrest of 15 Iranian members in December 2022. The members were taken to the Evin Prison of Iran after a number of them had unsuccessfully tried to flee the country to escape death threats and religious persecution. In jail, the members were forced to sign papers to renounce their faith and defame the religion and its leader and were threatened with execution if they didn’t cooperate with the Iranian regime. Three of the 15 were minors, two were women, and one of them was persecuted additionally because of his sexual orientation. The passports of four of them have also been confiscated.

The Struggle for freedom continues

The Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light is deeply concerned for the safety and the lives of its members who are denied the most basic human right, to practice their faith freely. Its Iranian members were forced to flee to other countries such as Turkey where they continue to face persecution, and are at risk of being deported back to Iran, where execution is alikely fate. The Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light urgently appeals for the intervention of the EU to provide its members with international protection, enabling them to seek asylum and freely practice their faith without fear. Read more about this here: