Kirpan Barred, so Sikh Group to Skip Meeting with Pope

March 1, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Thaiindian News (IANS)

A Sikh organisation in the US will skip a scheduled meeting with Pope Benedict XVI in Washington, DC, next month because its representatives have been been asked not to carry kirpans to the event. The World Sikh Council - America Region (WSC-AR) decided against attending the April 17 inter-religious meeting with the visiting pope because the US Secret Service refused to allow the kirpan, the ceremonial dagger that is one of the five articles of faith for Sikhs.

“We have to respect the sanctity of the kirpan, especially at such inter-religious gatherings. We cannot undermine the rights and freedoms of religion in the name of security,” said Anahat Kaur, secretary general of the WSC-AR, in a press release Friday.