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Turlock Sikh Temple to hold vigil on Friday

POSTED August 9, 2012 11:43 a.m.

The Turlock Sikh Temple will hold a candlelight vigil from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, in remembrance of the victims of the Wisconsin temple shooting.

The Journal had previously reported that an area-wide candlelight vigil would be held on Friday at the Hughson Sikh Temple. While the Hughson vigil will still be held, the Turlock temple will now be holding its own vigil at the same time.

A representative of the Turlock Sikh Temple said the county temples decided to hold vigils at the individual sites to increase awareness in each community.

The Turlock Sikh Temple is located at 1373 5th St.

On Sunday, a white supremacist opened fire on a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., killing six worshippers and wounding several others.

Local Sikh leaders are hoping to do more outreach to educate county residents about Sikhism.

Sunday’s shooting was the first mass killing of Sikhs in America, a religion which ranks fifth nationwide in terms of followers and tallies almost 26 million adherents worldwide.

Followers of the Sikh religion, based in the Punjab region of Northwest India, have called California home since the early 1900s. Sikhs believe in equality for all – regardless of race, sex, social status, or religion – to the extent that one Sikh Guru was martyred for his support of Hindus.

Followers are asked to work hard, to share with others, and to remember God.  And Sikhs are also asked to maintain a unique identity, with an uncut beard, a turban, and other religious items. The unique appearance is meant to make Sikhs instantly recognizable, so all might know who they can turn to in a time of need.

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