First Time Sikh Participation at South East European Prayer Breakfast
By Simran Singh
I’m hoping you’ll enjoy the attached article on a recent trip I took to represent us in Serbia and Bosnia. I attended the South East European Prayer Breakfast, which is an event that resembles the US National Prayer Breakfast. It is also similar to the New Mexico Governor’s Prayer Breakfast, which our New Mexico community is involved in. It took place in the Balkans and addresses a region that just a few years ago experienced a very heavy religious war. Given our history as Sikhs, it seemed appropriate to participate in prayer there.
In the Balkans, it’s a big deal for members of the different faiths to spend time together. There is still a tremendous amount of resentment. As a Sikh representative I was treated with considerable respect. A prayer I offered was broadcast on television and I shared our message of inclusion, tolerance, and respect for differences. While I was there, I couldn’t help but remember how the Khalsa panth has divided itself many times, usually surrounding issues of power and possession following a leader’s death. Many of the palaces Maharaja Ranjit Singh established were destroyed by feuding factions shortly after he died.
So we’ve got our fair share to deal with today. I pray (and know) that we take our opportunity, do our master(s) honor, and go through our process now (whatever that is) with inclusion and love for one another. Let’s have the common sense and dignity to do this right. We can dig in our trenches and slow everything down… what a waste that would be.