Thousands of followers of a minority Muslim sect are gathered at a weekend convention in Saskatoon.

Known as Ahmadi Muslims, they believe a 19th century Indian mystic is the messiah. The 35th Jalsa Salana Western Canada of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama is expected to draw about 3,000 delegates from across the west.

Lal Malik

Lal Malik is in Saskatoon for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Canada’s 35th Annual Convention in Western Canada. (CBC)

​Lal Malik, the group's national president in Canada, said his members promote peace by bringing religious communities together.

"Difference of religion should not make us fall apart since we believe in same God, same humanity," he said. "Followers of religion should get together like siblings."

There are about 900 Ahmadi Muslims living in Saskatoon and 75 in Regina. 

"Most of the members of the community in Saskatoon are from Pakistan," Malik said. "And the movement to Canada has been as a result of severe persecution our community is facing in Pakistan."

Tomorrow, their Canadian religious leader will speak about the current crisis in Iraq, along with the conflict between Israel and Palestinians. 

The conference takes place at the Henk Ruys Soccer Centre.