Building bridges, not walls

Aug 2018    

Singapore is the most multi-religious society in the world, and we have the wonderful opportunity to show, “with gentleness and respect”, Christ’s love to all our neighbours, “regardless of language, race or religion”.
—The Rev Dr Gordon Wong, Presidential Address at TRAC 42nd Annual Conference, 2017

In celebration of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Imam Syed Hassan Al-Attas from the Ba’alwie Mosque invited Bishop Dr Chong Chin Chung, TRAC President Rev Dr Gordon Wong and CAC President Rev Dr Gregory Goh to his mosque on 3 July 2018. (ETAC President the Rev James Nagulan was away at an overseas conference.)

Imam Syed Hassan Al-Attas is a very well-respected Muslim leader and scholar. He is passionate about inter-faith engagement and has made invaluable contribution to religious peace in Singapore. He is affectionately known as “Habib Hassan”.

Our Methodist leaders had a fruitful conversation with Imam, Ambassador Hawazi Daipi and mosque leaders over tea. They shared stories of nurturing mutual trust, respect and understanding among the various faith communities, and about Christian-Muslim relationships in our multi-racial and multi-religious society.

After tea, Imam brought us on a tour around his historical mosque and showed us his collection of holy books, which included copies of the Qur’an, the Tao De Ching, as well as antique Bibles.

Of the visit, Bishop Dr Chong Chin Chung said, “This is a very meaningful learning journey for us and we thank Imam Habib Hassan for his warm and kind hospitality. We hope to invite him to visit us at the Methodist Centre one day.”

This visit to the mosque has indeed deepened the friendships between the leaders of both religions. As Dr Leow Theng Huat from Trinity Theological College has written, “We hope, indeed, for the day when the more fervent a person is in his religious beliefs, the more potent a force he becomes in promoting peace and mutual understanding.”

The Rev Gabriel Liew is a Pastor of Kampong Kapor Methodist Church.

Photo courtesy of Rev Gabriel Liew


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