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Utahns of all faiths gather to support Sikh congregations

By Jed Boal | Posted - Aug. 8, 2012 at 10:57 p.m.


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TAYLORSVILLE — While Americans mourn the Sikhs who were shot and killed at a Wisconsin temple Sunday, Utah Sikhs joined others in the community to show their support Wednesday night.

There are few adequate answers to the many questions that follow a mass shooting. But the Sikh community in Utah came together in love and stood up against the violence.

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"Everybody is gathering to pray for peace for their souls," said J.B. Singh, a temple board member.

The prayers were also for the six Wisconsin victims gunned down by a man with neo-Nazi ties.

"We really appreciate everyone who is helping us and supporting us in this hard time," Singh said.

That support came from Utah's Interfaith Roundtable, along with many people of different faiths.

"When faiths do come together, all faiths win," said Alan Bachman, chairman of the Utah Interfaith Roundtable. "When one faith gets hurt, in a sense, all faiths get hurt. So it's important to come together."


When one faith gets hurt, in a sense, all faiths get hurt. So it's important to come together.

–Alan Bachman, Utah Interfaith Roundtable


And that's just what they did.

"We fear for life every day in different circumstances," said Pritpal Singh, a member of the temple's congregation. "But in a place of worship where everybody was for a day of peace, that happened there and it felt like it happened to us here."

Sikhism originated in India more than 500 years ago. There are nearly 1,000 Sikhs living in Utah open to sharing their faith with strangers.

"We just wanted to have people over to the congregation so they can realize how peaceful and what kind of significance of our religion has," Singh said. One of the leaders of the congregation said that the shooting has not shattered their community, it has made them stronger.

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Jed Boal

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