Posted Monday, August 6, 2012 --- 10:25 a.m.
In the wake of the tragic shootings at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, the Wisconsin Council of Churches is calling for Day of Prayer for the Sikh Community in Christian congregations throughout the state next Sunday, August 12.
Our hope is that next Sunday will provide an opportunity for Christians to pray for the victims, their families, and for the Sikh community, which has experienced much tragedy and hardship in this country since the Sept. 11 attacks (Sikhs are at times mistaken for Muslims). We also hope next Sunday will be an occasion for Christians in Wisconsin to learn more about the Sikh religion (www.sikhs.org). There are approximately 3,000 Sikhs in the greater Milwaukee area and over 700,000 nationwide. We know there are Sikh Temples in Oak Creek, Brookfield, Madison and Menasha, and there are no doubt smaller communities elsewhere in the state.
In the coming days and weeks there will be opportunities for Christians to stand in solidarity with the Sikh community. Two vigils were held last night, in Madison and Milwaukee, and more are planned. The WCC will assist in getting the word out as local events and other occasions for support are announced.
We join with Rev Betsy Miller, President Provincial Elders' Conference at Moravian Church Northern Province, who issued the following statement Sunday evening:
On behalf of the wider Moravian Church, we pray for the victims of violence against worshippers at a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. We pray for peace and calm in the midst of heated tensions, for the family members of those who were killed, including the perpetrator. Lord, in your mercy, bring healing to the religions of your world. We pray for a spirit of respect, that we may honor all people as beloved children of the living God.
Rev. Scott Anderson
Wisconsin Council of Churches