German Sikh Community celebrates with local community

GMA Editorial

Essen, Germany  Only a week after their temple had been hit by an extremist bomb attack, the Sikh community of the German city of Essen invited the local community to celebrate the Sikh festival of Nagar Kirtan. ‘Nagar Kirtan is a Punjabi terms which literally means “Neighbourhood Kirtan” and involves a religious procession through the city singing holy hymns. The event had been planned for long and the Sikh community not only saw it as a religious festivity but also as an opportunity to open up to the local community and present to them Sikh customs.

The festival involved ‘Shabad Kirtan’ (singing of hymns from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the holy scripture of Sikhs), religious songs called ‘Dharmik Geet’, ‘Gatka’ (Sikh martial art) and ‘Langar’ (the provision of free food). Initially, the plan was for the procession to lead from the temple to Kennedy Square, one of the most central and most busy places in the heart of Essen, where the festivities would take place. Security concerns however led to a change of plans and the festivities were relocated to a local stadium after the Sikh community profoundly refused to cancel the event. Continue reading

#LahoreBlast: Terror hits Pakistani Christians on Easter Day

Global Minorities Alliance condemns the terror attack on Christians in Pakistan in Gulsan-e-Iqbal Park, Lahore, Pakistan while families were celebrating Easter on Sunday 27 March, 2016. The terror attack has claimed 69 lives (at the time of writing) and reports claim that around 300 are injured. The Government of Pakistan has announced national mourning for three days.

The atrocious act of violence has hit mostly women and children in the eastern city of Pakistan and is thought to be one of the worst attacks that has hit Pakistan’s biggest minority.  GMA condemns the attack and urges the Pakistan Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif to take all measures to uproot terrorism in the country and ensure safety of its religious minorities.

“Our thoughts go out to the bereaved families who lost their loved ones, especially the women and children who are mostly effected in this tragedy. This is a coward attack on the innocent civilians and we condemn such barbarous acts against the defenceless citizens of Pakistan”, said Manassi Bernard, GMA’s Chief Executive.

Global Minorities Alliance also commends Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, on his  stance of activating the ‘safety check mode’ to make sure that people in the area can let their friends know that they are safe.