MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis Sikh community is celebrating a special anniversary this weekend.
The public was invited to the Sikh Temple on Appling Road on Sunday, as Sikhs commemorated the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism.
The anniversary is being celebrating by Sikhs across the world.
The celebration comes on the heels of an FBI report that shows hate crimes against Sikhs in the United States have increased 243 percent since 2016.
Local Sikh leaders say they want to use the historic anniversary as an opportunity to show others in the greater Mid-South community what their religion is all about.
"Our beliefs are very similar to the Constitution of this great country: equality, as I said, justice, religious freedom and community service," said Vaneet Singh, a member of the Memphis Sikh community.
The Sikh Coalition, a nonprofit that defends Sikh civil rights in the U.S., says there are more than 25,000,000 Sikhs around the world, making it the 5th largest religion.
The group says over 500,000 Sikhs live in the U.S.