Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Saturday 04 February |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Rabanus Maurus
Aleteia logo

‘My journey from Tehran to Rome’: A Muslim-born Iranian writes about how he became Catholic


Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 09/30/16

You can get Aleteia inspiration and news in your inbox. Our specially curated newsletter is sent each morning. The best part? It's free.

Sign up here

You may remember the story of Sohrab Ahmari, an editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal in London who, shortly after the murder of Fr. Jacques Hamel, publicly announced that he was converting to Catholicism. Now he tells the rest of his story.

From The Catholic Herald: 

On July 26, I announced my decision to join the Catholic Church. Hours earlier, a pair of jihadists had attacked a church in France and murdered a priest, Fr Jacques Hamel, while he was celebrating Mass. Two months before that, I had begun studying one-on-one with a priest in London, reading Catholic books and immersing myself in the catechumen’s life. But I had no intention of going public with my conversion, not until after being received into the Church. When news of the killing first broke, I knew next to nothing about Fr Hamel. Photos online showed an octogenarian priest with wispy white hair and a look of quiet, ordinary holiness. This priest, this man, had been forced to kneel and had his throat slit in the name of ISIS – an evil act that demanded a response. So like any good millennial, I took to my Twitter account and wrote: “#IAmJacques Hamel. In fact, this is the right moment to announce I’m converting to Roman Catholicism.” It was an impulsive thing to do, not exactly in keeping with our Lord’s teaching to be as wise as serpents. Over the next 48 hours, thousands of people re-tweeted me, and hundreds contacted me through social media. Then my announcement made its way to Christian media. Well-meaning journalists read my Wikipedia entry, noted that I’d been born and raised in Iran, and concluded: Fr Hamel’s final act had been to convert a Muslim. Thousands more shared these news stories on Twitter and Facebook, usually accompanied by the famous saying of Tertullian that “the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church”. I wished my road to Rome had been as easy as “Moslem Writer Moved by Priest’s Martyrdom to Convert to Catholicism” (an actual headline from a Catholic outlet). The real story was much longer and more complicated.

Read it all. 

Photo: Biteback Publishing

Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Entrust your prayer intentions to our network of monasteries

Top 10
See More