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News from the Hill August 10, 2012 | back to index

Public prayer service with Sikh community

All are invited to prayer services Sunday at Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar in Medford for victims of the Aug. 5 shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek. The event also offers an opportunity for those wishing to show solidarity with the broader Sikh community, which has faced numerous acts of violence in the years since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in part because the long beards and turbans worn by Sikh men have led some to mistake them for Muslims.

“We, as a Sangat (congregants) of this Gurudwara pray for the fast recovery of the victims and the (police) officer wounded in this tragedy,” a statement from the congregation reads. “We express our gratitude and thanks to the law enforcement and emergency officers who risked their life to save the innocent victims.”

The temple is located at 226 Mystic Ave. in Medford near the Sullivan Square exit on the Orange Line (MBTA bus route 95). Find directions at the temple’s web site [].

The Keertan Diwaan (service) will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. The service will be followed by a community meal (Langar) at 1:20 p.m.

Anti-Sikh violence after 9/11 is the subject of the award-winning film “Divided We Fall: Americans in the Aftermath” by Valarie Kaur and Sharat Raju. Kaur is one of more than 50 authors whose essays appear in “My Neighbor’s Faith: Stories of Interreligious Encounter, Growth, and Transformation” (Orbis 2012), edited by Andover Newton professors Jennifer Peace and Gregory Mobley and by Hebrew College professor Or Rose. “My Neighbor’s Faith” is available through the Andover Newton online bookstore.

The Sikh religion is monotheistic, like Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, and originated in the Punjab region of India in the 15th century. With more than 30 million adherents worldwide, Sikhism is the fifth-largest organized religion on Earth.

Learn more about Sikhism at [], about Sikhism in Boston via the Pluralism Project, and about Sikh support for civil and human rights at The Sikh Coalition.