MONROEVILLE (KDKA) — Many communities across the nation marked Saturday as a day of prayer for the Sikh faith following last weekend’s deadly shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin.
Followers of the faith in the Pittsburgh area gathered at the Pittsburgh Sikh Gurdwara in Monroeville for an evening vigil in remembrance of the victims.
About 200 people attended the service, a peaceful night of prayer to counter what they believe was a force of hate.
Organizers say they have received an outpouring of support following the shooting, and invited followers of all religions to promote awareness and tolerance.
“We don’t praise these things, we hate hate crime,” said Satpal Singh, a temple committee member. “It’s not good for any human being or in any religion or any community.”
Inside, they shared their beliefs of honesty and equality.
Since the shooting, many of the temple members have been working closely with Monroeville Police and U.S. Attorney David Hickton to ensure their security.
“I believe that an attack on our civil rights or a hate crime is an attack against each and every one of us and also an attack on our nation,” said Hickton who attended the service.
The Sikh Temple in suburban Milwaukee was the target of alleged gunman Wade Michael Page. Six people were killed, sending shockwaves throughout other temples across the United States.
“We don’t know what was the motive of this, for that person to go that aggressive against a particular community and especially at a place of worship; so, what we are trying to do is create an awareness about Sikh people,” said Harpreet Singh, a member of the Pittsburgh Sikh Gurdwara.
And they say, though it didn’t happen here, the impact was felt here and they want their fellow Sikhs in Wisconsin to feel the support from Pittsburgh.
Meanwhile, the highest ranking priest in the Sikh faith has called on temples across the United States to adopt more stringent security measures, including installing closed circuit cameras.
During Saturday evening’s gathering, Monroeville police were patrolling the area around temple to ensure the safety of those in attendance.
Local Sikh Community Praying For Victims Of Wisconsin Shooting (8/5/12)
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Pittsburgh Sikh Gurdwara