Feature film on Asian and Abrahamic Faith including Sikhism is opened in Washington


"The Asian & Abrahamic Religions: A Divine Encounter in America"

Sikhs worship at the Guru Gobind Singh Foundation in Potomac. This scene was recorded for the documentary "The Asian & Abrahamic Religions: A Divine Encounter in America", which will be shown on PBS. http://ww2.gazette.net/stories/12012010/bethnew211505_32547.php


Washington, December 2, 2010: Sikhs are featured prominently in the nationwide public television documentary “The Asian & Abrahamic Religions: A Divine Encounter in America”. Prior to its release on Public Television, the feature film will have a prestigious Washington premier at the historic Avalon Theater on December 5th at 8PM. Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE) collaborated with the Auteur Productions to feature Sikhism as part of this documentary and this will be shown over 450 public television stations nationwide.

It features famous and prominent religious personalities including Bishop of Washington National Cathedral John Bryson Chane, famous best selling author of several books on various religions Karen Armstrong, Dr.Diana Eck of Harvard University , Buddhist Scholar Robert Thurman from Columbia University, Prominent Jewish leader Rabbi David Rosen, Dr. Steve Prothero of Boston University and Sikh Representative Dr. Rajwant Singh.

Auteur Productions have previously produced two feature films on Jews and Christians and Three faiths One God focused on Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Both of those films have been shown repeatedly on the public TV and has been shown worldwide. In addition, State Department has shown these films at the US Embassies across the globe.

A major sequence in this documentary shows the service at the Guru Gobind Singh Foundation in which the world famous hymn singers from India, Bhai Satvinder Singh, Bhai Harvinder Singh and Bhai Manjeet Singh, who accompanies them on table, are shown performing kirtan.

The documentary’s cameras were at the Sikh Temple in Yuba City, California, for the exciting 300th anniversary celebration of Guru Granth Sahib’s Guru Gaddi. We see the holy Guru Granth Sahib placed on a lavishly decorated float and honored and respected by 80,000 Sikhs from around the country and the world as they parade through the streets of Yuba City, California. It was a spectacular worship event that will dramatically demonstrate to public television audiences nationwide that Sikhs are truly ‘People of the Book.’

Dr. Rajwant Singh, Chairman of SCORE, said, “The documentary serves a very important purpose and that is to correct stereotypes and promote greater understanding of the Sikh religion, for western audiences.” Immediately following the screening there will be panel discussion by leading participants in the documentary.

Jerry Krell, producer of the film said, “Appearing in this documentary are: Dr. Narinder Singh Kapany, who is the father of fiber optics and collector of important religious Sikh art.

We photographed these impressive works, which have been exhibited worldwide and are in the permanent collection at the Asian art museum in San Francisco. We videotaped noted author, and columnist Jessi Kaur, who speaks as well in her interview about the importance of the turban in Sikh religion. We interviewed Dr. Jasbir Singh Kang, prominent Yuba City physician and author of “Punjabi Migration to the United States”. In Stockton, California, at the oldest Sikh Gurdwara in the United States, we also interviewed Dr. Bruce La Brack, Professor of Anthropology and International Studies at University of Pacific and author ‘the Sikhs of Northern California’ and ‘Sikhs in the United States’.

He further stated, “It is important for anyone concerned with promoting an understanding of the Asian Religions, to become associated with this ground-breaking public television documentary that explores common beliefs, traditions and rituals, comparing similarities and differences that the Asian religions have with the Abrahamic religions. For example, we interviewed Rabbi David Rosen, the distinguished international Director of interreligious affairs for the American Jewish Committee. He draws parallels between Sikhism and Judaism. “we have in both of our religious cultures experienced a sense of persecution, a sense of vulnerability, a sense of being a minority that has to maintain it’s own particular culture and identity and values often in the face of a great deal of hostility and there is no question that this experience has substantially formulated Sikh consciousness just as it has substantially formulated Jewish consciousness…. I think that within Sikhism there has been very much that balance between maintain your particular identity while at the same time being conscious that you are part and parcel of the whole universe and that you have an even responsibility towards the universe as a whole.”


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