Sikh Temple of Northeast Florida holds prayer service

Published On: Aug 12 2012 11:53:56 PM EDT

Community rallies around Sikhs.


The Sikh community in Jacksonville held a special prayer service Sunday, a week after the temple shooting in Wisconsin.

Singing songs of redemption and unity, dozens of mourners prayed for the victims and their families at the Sikh Temple of Northeast Florida.

"I think Jacksonville has a big heart and I wouldn't have expected anything else," said Parvez Ahmed, a member of the Board of Trustees of Islamic Center.

While many members admitted emotions were still raw, Sikh leaders said it was important for the community to come together in peace.

"What's more important about being here is that we are one family of God. And the one thing this family is asked to do, and that's love," said Davette Turk.

Wade Page, a 40-year-old Army veteran, shot and killed six people and injured three others before taking his own life, said investigators. Page played in several bands associated with white supremacists and neo-Nazi groups.

Despite Sikhism being the fifth largest religion in the world, many believe the tragedy is proof that more education and tolerance is needed.

"It's extremely important. Everybody is really worshipping the same God and it's all about loving each other and being accepting and open, tolerant, and I don't think that any of the religions can condone violence," said one worshipper.

While worshippers said forgiveness was the next step in the healing process, they believe the horrific event will only strengthen their resolve.

"We do face tragedies and mishaps from time to time, but all of us rise above our own day to day business and we come together and we work together," said Ahmed.

Two of the three people wounded in the shooting were still recovering in the hospital late Sunday.


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