As proof of Singapore’s religious diversity, a new temple with a multi-religious focus will be up and running in Sengkang West.
Scheduled to open its doors on May 20, the temple which is initiated by the Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society, a non-profit voluntary welfare organisation (VWO), will house a library full of books on different religions and will conduct talks and dialogues involving different religious leaders and groups, this according to the society’s chairman Lee Kim Siang.
“Our teachings have always been multi-religious… We should walk the talk,” the society’s chairman added. “To have a religion doesn’t mean you cannot have a wide worldview.”
Mr. Lee said that people of various faiths may use the pews in the temple, where there will be digital tablets displaying different religious texts. It will have a “hall of filial piety” as well, for ancestral tablets usually inscribed with names of the dead.
Those applying for the ancestral tablets will be encouraged to provide a video remembering the life of the deceased. The aim, he said, is for people to have a space where they can look back on the stories of their loved ones.
As a religiously diverse country
Singapore has been recognised as an extremely religiously-diverse country, with 33.9% of its population following Buddhism, 18.2% Christian, 14.3% Muslim, 5.2% Hindu, 2.3% adhering to folk religions, and 9.7% falling into other religious groups.
Those who have no religious affiliation in Singapore amount to 16.4% of the population.
With the establishment of this multi-religious temple, Singapore’s reputation as a religiously-diverse nation will be further enhanced.
The Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society
Founded in Guandong Province, Teo Ann County in China a few centuries ago, it was officially established during the Ming Dynasty according to historical records.
In the 1950s, a Singapore chapter was put up, following the migration of predecessors into Singapore. In 1978, the society was registered as Singapore Sai Oh Thye Huan Kwan Choon Tech Seah Society on April 22. The group was subsequently renamed as Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society. /TISG