Two Birmingham Sikhs have returned from an international celebration marking the 20th anniversary of the late Pope John Paul II's Prayer for Peace.
Phaldip Singh Khela and Pritpal Kaur Riat, both from Handsworth Wood, were two of 100 young people selected from around the world to be present at the event in Italy, where they received an audience with the Pope in Vatican City.
The pair, who are volunteers and worshippers at Gurdwara Nishkam Sewak Jatha, a Sikh temple in Soho Road, Birmingham, arrived for the week-long tour, starting in Assisi on November 4.
Mr Khela, the 22-year-old president of the World Youth Leadership Network UK and Europe organisation, said he and 23-year-old Birmingham University Phd student Miss Riat, had been chosen for the trip because of the Gurdwara's close links with the Vatican.
He said: "There seems to be this drive to get young people on board because they have so much to contribute. I assume this is why the Vatican felt this was the right time to invite young people."
The group worked on a peace message from young people to religious leaders, which they hoped would be taken to every faith and world leader.
It said: "We appeal to all people that peace is not something only to be sought in halls of government, but also in the halls of our synagogues, our churches, our mosques, our temples, our pagodas, our gurdwaras, our atash berhrams, our schools, our workplaces, homes and most importantly in our hearts and everywhere.
"We will strive to follow the path to peace, guided by the precepts of our respective religious traditions and none.
"We young people represent a new generation and a new hope. We resolve to return to our families and communities, to be advocates for inter-religious and intercultural understanding and respect.
"We accept the responsibility of continuing the dialogue begun here in Assisi and we fully commit ourselves to working for justice and to be instruments of peace in our homelands and in every corner of the earth.
"We want elders to support us in this mission."
In a joint statement, Ms Riat and Mr Khela, said: "This historical meeting was a landmark as it gave the youth from all over the world not only a chance to meet collectively, but to pray collectively knowing that we are children of the one same God. Furthermore, the Sikh tradition is to seek the welfare of all."
In a message posted on the Vatican website, Pope Benedict XVI said: "This year is the 20th anniversary of the Inter-religious Meeting of Prayer for Peace, desired by my venerable predecessor John Paul II on October 27, 1986 in Assisi.
"It is well known that he did not only invite Christians of various denominations to this meeting but also the exponents of different religions."
"The initiative made an important impact on public opinion. It constituted a vibrant message furthering peace and an event that left its mark on the history of our time.
"Thus, the memory of those events continues to inspire initiatives of reflection and commitment."