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Singapore: Government wants to change religion law

State influence is growing

The Ministry of the Interior had involved the country's religious groups in the debate on the changes to the law. Under the plans, the government would be empowered to issue restrictive orders when, in the opinion of the Presidential Council for Religious Harmony, hatred or hostility is sown between religious groups or religion is used to create political unrest.

A restriction issued by the president can, for example, prohibit the distribution of religious publications.

The amendments also aim to better protect local religious organizations from foreign influences. They propose that key positions in religious organizations should only be filled with Singapore residents. The Ministry of the Interior sees great potential for divisions for Singapore's society in influences from abroad.

Catholic Church supports the proposed changes

As the agency fides reports, the Archdiocese of Singapore assures its full support for the update of the "Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act". The law has been in force since 1990. The Church has cited the proposals as appropriate to maintain religious harmony in Singapore. She is grateful that she was drawn into the development of the measures.

The Association of Christian Churches and Groups in Singapore said the measures would "encourage religious communities and their leaders to act responsibly and be mindful of the influence of foreign influences that have the potential to sow hatred and violence". The Muslim Religious Council also welcomes the proposals.

5.6 million people live in Singapore. The city-state is characterized by religious pluralism: 34 percent are Buddhists, 14.3 percent Muslim and 5.2 percent Hindus. 18 percent of the population are Christians, around half of whom are Catholics.

(fides - tg)