Palatine Sikh community hosts vigil Wednesday for Orlando victims

The Sikh Religious Society in Palatine will host a public interfaith candlelight vigil in remembrance of the victims of the Orlando attack on Wednesday night.

Spokesman Rajinder Singh Mago said the Sikhs know "deeply and profoundly" the pain caused by hate and violence.

In 2012, a man with connections to white supremacists shot and killed six worshippers at a Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. And after Sept. 11, 2001, there were several incidents of Sikhs being attacked by people who mistook them for Muslims.

"We are all connected in sorrow and determination to end hate violence in our communities." Mago said Monday. "In our Sikh teachings we believe in one humanity and respect for all life and all people."

The vigil will begin at 7 p.m. at the Sikh Religious Society gurdwara, 1280 Winnetka St. in Palatine, with a 45-minute worship service. Following will be a tributes to the Orlando victims and a candlelight vigil. At 8:30 p.m. refreshments and a vegetarian meal will be served to all, for free.

Once inside the gurdwara, people are asked to cover their heads with a scarf, bandanna or turban, and to remove their shoes. Headscarves will be provided.

The Sikh faith began in the 1400s in the region that is now India and Pakistan. Worldwide it has the fifth largest group of followers, an estimated 27 million, including 500,000 to 700,000 Americans.

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