Christianity in Singapore

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Christians in Singapore constitute approximately 18% of the Country's population.[1] In 2010, about 38.5% of the country's Christians identified as Catholic and 61.5% as 'Other Christians' (chiefly Protestants).[2]

History[edit]

Christianity was introduced to Singapore by Anglican British colonists and has since been propagated by subsequent proselytisers of various Christian denominations.

The percentage of Christians among Singaporeans increased from 12.7% in 1990 to 14.6% in 2000.[3] whilst the latest census as of 2015 has showed the Christian population increased again, to 18.8%. [4]

Roman Catholic[edit]

The Roman Catholic population in Singapore generally consists of Chinese (including Peranakans), Filipinos, and Indians, along with a few smaller minority groups such as Eurasians (including Kristang) and white Europeans. The Chinese, the majority ethnicity in Singapore, also account for the majority of Catholics. There are 31 Roman Catholic parishes in Singapore, each administering to a particular district in Singapore.[5]

Singapore has a Roman Catholic Archdiocese headed by Archbishop William Goh who presides at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd. The Holy Mass in Singapore is celebrated in numerous vernacular tongues, including English, Mandarin, Hokkien, Teochew, Tamil, Malayalam, Tagalog and Korean (at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd). Malay is seldom used, since Malays are almost entirely Muslim.

Peranakan Roman Catholics are generally concentrated in the Church of the Holy Family in Katong; whilst St. Joseph's Church along Victoria street is a cultural base for Portuguese Eurasians. Roman Catholic parishes in the 18th to early 19th centuries were initially set up along racial and cultural lines by various Roman Catholic missionary groups from Europe.

Various Roman Catholic parishes in Singapore are actively involved in social services such as welfare homes, the opening of soup kitchens as well as missionary trips to place like Indonesia and the Philippines. There is also the Catholic Medical Guild, and other Roman Catholic lobby groups that are based in the Church of St Peter & Paul parish grounds. They are also currently supporting the creation of Neighbourhood Christian Communities (NCC) in order to organise and gather the Roman Catholic communities within their neighbourhoods.[6]

The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd is the oldest Roman Catholic church in Singapore.

Eastern Catholic[edit]

A fledgling Greek-Catholic community, dependent on the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic bishop of Melbourne, is also present.

Eastern and Oriental Orthodox[edit]

The Armenian Church is the oldest Christian church in Singapore.

Other Christian churches in Singapore include the old Armenian Church which has a church building and new appointed resident clergy. By the Pontifical Order of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, Very Rev. Fr. Zaven Yazichyan, a member of the Brotherhood of Holy Etchmiadzin; has been appointed to serve as the spiritual pastor of Singapore, the Coptic Orthodox Church which meets in the Armenian Church, and the Syrian Orthodox Church; the latter two churches generally minister to the Coptic and Indian communities respectively. There is also a small but growing Eastern Orthodox congregation made up of ethnic Armenians, Egyptians, Greeks, Indians and Russians, constituting a small minority in the local Christian population.

Protestant[edit]

The majority of Christian churches are under the umbrella of the National Council of Churches of Singapore.[7] Most belong to Protestant traditions which consist of an array of denominations. The more prominent ones include the Assemblies of God, Anglican, Baptist, Church of Singapore, Plymouth Brethren, Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian churches.

Anglicanism is represented in Singapore by the Church of the Province of South East Asia, of which the Diocese of Singapore is responsible for 26 parishes within Singapore as well as six deaneries in other Southeast Asian countries.

The Methodist Church in Singapore is the Church that Methodists in Singapore belong to. It consists of 46 local congregations, and manages 16 schools.

Although the churches seem divided along denomination lines, many Christian ministries and congregations often organise events for the Christian community in general[citation needed].

Pentecostalism became a larger influence through the Charismatic Movement of the 1970s, but North American and Ceylon Pentecostal Mission missionaries (Pentecostal Church of Singapore) had been active from 1935.

Other than churches, there are several other Christian organisations in Singapore. These organisations include, Fei Yue Family Centres, Teen Challenge various community hospitals, and Beulah.[8]

Latter-day Saints[edit]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reports having 3,590 members living within Singapore.[9] Members are organised as part of the Singapore Stake[10] and attend the Hong Kong China Temple.[11] There are four meetinghouses within the nation.[10]

In 1960 there were four members of the Church located in Singapore, and the first church meetings were held in 1963. In 1968 the Church organised its first congregation within the nation. In 1992, Jon Huntsman, Jr., a member of the Church, was appointed as the United States Ambassador to Singapore. He served in this office until 1993.[9][12]

Independent Movements[edit]

There is a growing number Independent Churches, ranging from small Independent Churches such as Independent Presbyterian Churches as well as Baptist ones, while being self-governing, independent Church bodies, associate with their respective denominations, as well as larger megachurches such as City Harvest Church, New Creation Church, Faith Community Baptist Church which draw thousands to their rock-concert-style services.

Inter-Faith[edit]

Singapore is a society of diverse religious traditions. The Declaration of Religious Harmony, which was published in 2003, is a seminal document, which the National Council of Churches of Singapore supported and helped create. On September 3, 2008, the sociologist and Pentecostal pastor, Mathew Mathews, who was named a visiting fellow of the Sociology department at the National University of Singapore, interviewed 183 Singaporean clergy. From these interviews he formed the opinion that the Christian clergy in many parts of Singapore were wary of inter-faith dialogue. He claimed that nearly 50% of clergy believe that inter-faith dialogue compromises their own religious convictions. He presented his paper to the Institute of Public Studies (Singapore) in a forum they organised on September 2, 2008.[13][14]

Schools[edit]

Anglican schools[edit]

Methodist schools[edit]

Presbyterian schools[edit]

Roman Catholic schools[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Census of Population 2014 Statistical Release 1 - Demographic Characteristics, Education, Language and Religion" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  2. ^ Singapore Census of Population 2015: Statistical Release 1: Demographic Characteristics, Education, Language and Religion. Singapore: Department of Statistics, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore. January 2011. Table 59 ("Resident Population Aged 15 Years and Over by Religion, Ethnic Group and Sex"). ISBN 978-981-08-7808-5. 
  3. ^ Sng, Bobby E.K. (2003). In His Good Time: The Story of the Church in Singapore 1819–2002 (3rd ed.). Singapore: Bible Society of Singapore. p. 337. ISBN 981-220-286-2. 
  4. ^ "Better-educated S'pore residents look to religion". Jan 13, 2011. Retrieved Feb 26, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Archdiocese of Singapore: Catholic Churches". Catholic.org.sg. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  6. ^ "Neighbourhood Christian Communities (NCCs)". The Catholic News. Retrieved July 16, 2011. 
  7. ^ "National Council of Churches Singapore Website". National Council of Churches Singapore Website. 
  8. ^ "Breaking News - Singapore". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  9. ^ a b "Singapore - LDS Statistics and Church Membership". Retrieved 2015-08-09. 
  10. ^ a b "Find Places of Worship - LDS Maps". Retrieved 2015-08-09. 
  11. ^ "Hong Kong China LDS (Mormon) Temple District". Retrieved 2015-08-09. 
  12. ^ "Huntsman Jr. Tapped As Envoy to Singapore". Deseret News. June 18, 1992. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  13. ^ Li, Xueying. "Clergy 'Wary Of Inter-Faith Talks'", The Straits Times, 2008-09-23
  14. ^ (PDF) http://newshub.nus.edu.sg/news/0809/pdf/CLERGY-st-3Sept-pB5.pdf. Retrieved October 2, 2008.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]

External links[edit]