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Prayer for Sikhs

Lorna Johnston /Thursday, April 13, 2023

 

While we count down the last days of Ramadan, observed by the world’s almost 2 billion Muslims, (which ends on April 20), we also want to stand in prayer for the often-overlooked spiritual needs of Sikhs worldwide.

Sikhism

Sikhism is a monotheistic religion that originated in the Punjab region of South Asia during the 15th century as a reform movement within Hinduism. It is one of the youngest of the major world religions, boasting 28 million adherents worldwide. Sikhism is the fifth-largest religion in the world.

The fundamental beliefs of Sikhism include faith and meditation on the name of the One Creator, the unity and equality of all humankind, engaging in selfless service, striving for social justice for the benefit and prosperity of all, and honest conduct and livelihood. Sikhs believe in reincarnation and that their good works will earn merit for the next life. The ultimate goal is to merge in essence with the “Ultimate.”

About 770,000 Sikhs, primarily Punjabis, call Canada home, and they will likely be the second largest ethnic group after the Chinese by 2031. Concentrated in British Columbia and Ontario, Sikhism is the second largest religion in the Greater Vancouver area. In Surrey, almost a quarter of the population is Sikh, making it the largest Punjabi settlement outside Punjab.

Sikhs are wary of Westerners trying to convert them to Christianity. Their proud cultural heritage, intertwined with their faith, may cause their families to view conversion to any other faith as a rejection of the community they so deeply value, and will shun the family member who converts.

Vaisakhi

April 13/14 is the start of Vaisakhi, a spring harvest festival, that is observed in northern India and in diaspora communities around the world—including here in Canada. Baisakhi holds great significance in the Sikh religion as it commemorates the establishment of the Khalsa, a community of baptised Sikhs, by the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, in 1699.

During the Vaisakhi festival Sikhs will visit Gurdwaras (temples) to offer prayers and seek blessings, as well as participate in processions, festivals, shared community meals and more. In Surrey, the largest Vaisakhi Parade anywhere in the world outside of India, will be held on April 22, culminating a festival that beings on April 13 and wraps up on the 23rd.

As this community celebrates spring harvest, this is an opportune time to pray that the Lord of the Harvest will produce much fruit among them. Use this link to access the prayer guide and join the global community in praying 5 Days of Prayer for Sikhs (2023 Edition) PDF (worldprayerguides.org)


Lorna Johnston is the Diaspora Ministries Leader at Outreach Canada. She leads two national teams--Loving Muslims Together (LMT) and Simply Mobilizing Canada (SMC). She works with teams of diverse and experienced leaders and ministries across Canada to alert and activate the church in Canada to the changing opportunities to engage God's mission right here in Canada.



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