The Evangelical Fellowship of India strongly condemns the act of violence which killed six persons at a Gurudwara in the town of Oak Creek, just south of Wisconsin’s biggest city of Milwaukee in United States of America (USA).
On Sunday, August 6,2012 at about 10.30 am, Central time, Wade M. Page, who allegedly had ties with white supremacist groups, entered the Sikh Temple during a religious service, and sprayed a 9mm semi-automatic handgun, killing four people inside the building and two more outside. He then wounded one police officer before being shot to death by another officer. Three people were injured, including the temple president.
According to media reports, Prime Minister, Shri Manmohan Singh, while expressing shock over the shooting said what was more painful was the fact that this "senseless act of violence" was targeted at a religious place.
US President Barack Obama has raised alarm over the regularity of such violent incidents in the US. Obama said, "I think all of us recognize that these kinds of terrible, tragic events are happening with too much regularity for us not to do some soul-searching and to examine additional ways that we can reduce violence."
Obama said that Americans would "recoil" in shock if it turned out that the gunman was motivated by ethnic hatred, and said he was "heartbroken" by the incident on Sunday.
Racism and xenophobic violence are rising across the world, which is cutting across religious and cultural divides and threaten the ethnic or national minorities to become vulnerable to hate crimes. "Racism is the belief that peoples, via hereditary features, differ in social value and make specific groups superior or inferior to others".
The Evangelical Fellowship of India stands in solidarity with the Sikh community, and appeals to the authorities to address the issues and contexts that give rise to these conflicts and ensures that such ghastly act of violence against the minorities should not be repeated.
Rev. Dr. Richard Howell,
Evangelical Fellowship of India
New Delhi, India
The Evangelical Fellowship of India (established 1951) is a charter member of World Evangelical Alliance, an accredited NGO with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations