MANILA, Philippines– For decades, followers of the Ahmadiyya faith, a minority sect of Islam, have fallen victim to laws that target them as non-believers in Pakistan. Some of them have sought asylum in the Philippines.
Hassan Ali is a recognized refugee in Metro Manila. He fled his home country of Pakistan in 2014 in fear of persecution for simply being an Ahmadiyya Muslim.
“My pain was psychological,” Ali said. “Discrimination was everywhere and the situations increasingly became so difficult for me to freely practice my religion.”
The Ahmadiyya is a young sect of Islam, formed in 1889 around Mizra Ghulam Ahmed who is claimed to be the messiah or the ‘second advent of Jesus’.