British Sikhs Pay Respects to Pope

April 6, 2005

Source: Hindustan Times

Wire Service: AFP,00050003.htm

On April 6, 2005 the Agence France-Presse reported, "The Sikh Federation of Britain paid tribute on Tuesday to Pope John Paul II, signalling its gratitude for his support of Sikhs during the past 20 years. The pope's expression of 'great sadness' at the Indian army assault on the Golden Temple in Amritsar in 1984, was an example of the late pope's support, the federation said in a statement. The pontiff also voiced his 'universal horror and dismay' at the massacres of up to 20,000 Sikhs in November 1984 after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by two of her Sikh bodyguards...More recently the pope had intervened in the French debate about the wearing of religious symbols in schools saying it was an 'inalienable right' of Sikhs in France to practice and propagate their faith and said 'no government should interfere with the inner core of any religion.' Several Sikh organisations sent a letter to the Vatican last week saying that its faithful were praying for the pope and the Catholics of the world, the statement said."