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There are potentially 27 million Sikhs around the world, making it the fifth largest world religion. Most of these adherents are in the Punjab in India, but there is a large and growing global diaspora. There are many Sikhs in North America, with major populations in 11 different metro areas like New York and Toronto. Sikhs in the United States have faced discrimination when people assume they are Muslims because of their traditional turbans. Sikhs dedicate their lives to worship, discipline, and service. These provide easy foundations for relationships with Christians as we share about the True Guru – Jesus Christ.
What Do Sikhs Believe?
Many in the West, though, have never heard of Sikhism–a monotheistic religion which began in India in 1469. It centers around the teachings of 10 Gurus. The final Guru is the book where all of these teachings are compiled. It’s known as the “living Guru.” Sikhs worship together at the gurdwara. According to Sikhism, the purpose of life is to reunite or merge with God by meditating on the name of God, performing selfless service, and following the teachings of the Guru.
Who are the Sikhs?
Sikhs pride themselves on their honesty, hard work, and morality. They have been in North America since the late 1800’s. Sikhs helped build the US railroad and have served bravely alongside the Americans and British in both WWI and WWII. They work as drivers, truckers, construction workers, restaurant workers and owners, convenience store owners and workers, doctors, lawyers, and politicians. Still hardly anyone knows who they are.
Stories of Sikhs in New York City
One Global Gates family in NYC reports that they have many Sikh friends. Yet, they rarely, if ever, meet a practicing Sikh who has heard the message of Jesus.
One day this family was sharing with their friend Sukpreet (name changed). While together, she read Romans 6:23 for the first time, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” She was astonished and asked quietly, “Is this really true?” Later, when she read John 14:6, she said, “I am so happy. Today is such a good day. You cannot get to God without Jesus! He is the way.” A week later she asked to see it again. She said, “This is a very big message in such a small sentence! You have to share this message [gospel] with the [Punjabi] people. They come from a different place. They don’t know!”
God loves the Sikhs in North America, and He is starting to move in their hearts, but how can they believe if they have never heard? To be Sikh literally means to be a learner. Many are seeking God but they do not know that Jesus is the way! Having a Sikh friend is a blessing in so many ways. Love them, and share the good news of Jesus with them so that they may find peace and truly be united to God!
Join Together in Prayer for Sikhs
Join others around the world in praying for Sikhs April 12-16. Here’s a prayer guide created by a network of missionaries among Sikhs as well as Sikh background believers.