Christian Churches Call for Day of Prayer for Sikh Communty
Many churches will join together throughout the state on Sunday in a day of prayer, to help Christians support the Sikh community dealing with the aftermath of the mass shooting.
In the wake of the shootings at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, the Wisconsin Council of Churches posted on their website a call for a "Day of Prayer for the Sikh Community" on Sunday.
"Our hope is that next Sunday (Aug. 12) 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," the announcement stated. "We also hope next Sunday will be an occasion for Christians in Wisconsin to learn more about the Sikh religion.
Sikhs have reported that some people mistake them for Muslim terrorists, perhaps because male Sikhs traditionally wear turbans over their hair.
Six members of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin were killed when Wade Michael Page opened fire on Sunday. Page was also killed after an exchange of gunfire with Oak Creek police.
The WCC stated, "the coming days and weeks there will be opportunities for Christians to stand in solidarity with the Sikh community."
Two vigils were held Sunday night following the shootings, in Madison and Milwaukee, and more are planned in addition to Sunday's day of prayer. A large vigil will take place at tonight's National Night Out event in Oak Creek.
The Sikh community has also said the general public is welcome to attend a joint funeral ceremony, scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday, according to an Journal Sentinel article. The service will be held at Oak Creek High School, and is being organized by the family of Satwant Kaleka, which has asked other families who lost people in the shooting to participate. They expect 700-800 people to attend.