An Ahmadi Muslim group in Beckton organised a meeting of faith leaders in London to promote understanding and harmony between faiths.
The Conference of World Religions, held at the Guildhall on February 18, was hosted by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association (AMA) as part of the umbrella group Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
More than 500 delegates from 26 countries attended the event, including faith leaders, politicians, government officials, diplomats and charity workers.
The theme of the event, God in the 21st Century, saw panellists from different faiths explore the role religion plays in the world and whether it is a force for good.
Messages of support were sent from the Queen, the Prime Minister, the Dalai Lama, the Archbishop of York and the Vatican.
The keynote speech was made by the worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (AMC), his holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, who followers of the AMC call the Khalifa of Islam.
Ahmadi Muslims follow the teachings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835–1908), who claimed to have come to fulfil Islamic prophesies.
Basharat Ahmad Pir, president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, said: “There are Muslims who are waiting for the promised redeemer to come, and we believe he has come. So that’s it in a nutshell.
“It’s like how the Jews are waiting for the messiah to come, and Christians believe he has come.
“Other than that, it’s all the same – we read the Qur’an, we pray, we go for hajj [pilgrimage].”
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Association runs community events in Newham, where it has been based for more than ten years, and has around 500 members.
For more information visit alislam.org.