Christianity in Singapore

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]

Overview

Christianity was introduced to Singapore by Anglican British colonists. The percentage of Christians in Singapore increased from 12.7% in 1990 to 14.6% in 2000.[3] Whilst the 2015 census showed the Christian population increased again, to 18.8%. [4]

Protestantism

The majority of Christian churches are under the umbrella of the National Council of Churches of Singapore.[5] 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. It is the largest denomination of Christianity in Singapore.

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

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.[6]

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 services.

Denominations

1. Anglican (English Reformed)

- Diocese of Singapore

2. Plymouth Brethren (English Reformed)

- Brethren Gospel Chapels

3. Methodist (English Reformed)

- The Methodist Church in Singapore

- The Salvation Army

4. Pentecostal (English Reformed)

- Assemblies of God of Singapore

- Church of God, Cleveland, TN

5. Baptist (English Reformed)

- Singapore Baptist Convention

6. Adventist (English Reformed)

- Seventh-Day Adventist Conference Singapore

7. Non-Denominational (English Reformed)

- Church of Singapore

- Christian Nationals' Evangelism Commission

- Neo-Charismatic Churches (Jesus Movement)

- Independent Churches

8. Presbyterian (Scottish Reformed)

- Presbyterian Church in Singapore

- Bible-Presbyterian Churches

9. Restoration Movement (Scottish Reformed)

- Churches of Christ

10. Mar Thoma Syrian (Malankara Reformed)

- Mar Thoma Syrian Church in Singapore

11. Lutheran (German Lutheran)

- Lutheran Church in Singapore

12. Evangelical Free (Scandinavian Lutheran)

- The Evangelical Free Church of Singapore

Roman Catholicism

Cathedral of the Good Shepherd 14, Jan 06
The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd is the oldest Roman Catholic church in Singapore.

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 32 Roman Catholic parishes in Singapore, each administering to a particular district in Singapore.[7]

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 places 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.[8]

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

Oriental Orthodoxy

Armenian Church 9, Singapore, Jan 06
The Armenian Church is the oldest Christian church in Singapore.

Oriental Orthodox 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 Syriac Orthodox Church; the latter two churches generally minister to the Coptic and Indian communities respectively.

Eastern Orthodoxy

In Singapore there is also a small but growing Eastern Orthodox congregation made up of ethnic Greeks, Russians, Ukrainians and Indians, constituting a small minority in the local Christian population. In 2008, the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople decided to create Eastern Orthodox Metropolitanate of Singapore and South Asia, with jurisdiction over Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Timor, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and Afghanistan.[9] First Diocesan Bishop was appointed in 2011, when Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate elected Archimendrire Konstantinos (Tsilis) as the first Metropolitan of Singapore and South Asia. He was ordained by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople and resides in Singapore.[10] The central parish in Singapore is served by Archimandrite Daniel Toyne.

Nontrinitarianism

There are also various Nontrinitarian congregations in Singapore, such as the Mormon Church and the True Jesus Church, some of which have been subject to varying degrees of restriction, most notably Jehovah's Witnesses and the Unification Church.

Education and schools

A Pew Center study about religion and education around the world in 2016, found that between the various Christian communities, Singapore outranks other nations in terms of Christians who obtain a university degree in institutions of higher education (67%).[11]

Anglican schools

Methodist schools

Presbyterian schools

Roman Catholic schools

Inter-faith

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 3 September 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 2 September 2008.[12].

See also

References

  1. ^ "Census of Population 2014 Statistical Release 1 – Demographic Characteristics, Education, Language and Religion" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  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". 13 January 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-01-16. Retrieved 26 February 2011.
  5. ^ "National Council of Churches Singapore Website". National Council of Churches Singapore Website. Archived from the original on 25 April 2011.
  6. ^ "Breaking News – Singapore". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 2012-02-20. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  7. ^ "Archdiocese of Singapore: Catholic Churches". Catholic.org.sg. Archived from the original on 16 October 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  8. ^ "Neighbourhood Christian Communities (NCCs)". The Catholic News. Archived from the original on 2012-05-12. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  9. ^ "Announcement from the Top Secretariat of the Holy and Sacred Synod – EP". orthodox.cn. Archived from the original on 2016-04-10. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  10. ^ "Metropolitan : Orthodox Metropolitanate of Singapore and South Asia". omsgsa.org. Archived from the original on 2017-04-10. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  11. ^ "Religion and Education Around the World" (PDF). Pew Research Center. 19 December 2011. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-12-22. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  12. ^ Li, Xueying (3 September 2008). "Clergy 'Wary of Inter-Faith Talks'". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2 October 2018.

External links

Armenians in Singapore

The Armenians in Singapore are a small community who had a significant presence in the early history of Singapore. They numbered around 100 individuals at their peak in the early 1920s, but most have moved on to other countries or become absorbed into the wider Singapore community. They were among the earliest merchants to arrive in Singapore when it was established as a trading port by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819. The Armenian Apostolic Church of St Gregory the Illuminator on Armenian Street, the second church to be built in Singapore, is today the oldest surviving one.

Catholic Church in Singapore

The Catholic Church in Singapore is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome.

About 5.7% of Singapore's populace, or about 300,000 people, are Catholics. Catholicism is practiced mainly by people of Chinese (including Peranakan) descent, along with a Eurasian (including Jenti Kristang), Filipino, Indian, Indonesian, and white European minority.

Church of St Mary of the Angels

The Church of St Mary of the Angels is a Roman Catholic church in Singapore completed in 2004. It is located in the Bukit Batok Planning Area, within the West Region of Singapore. Currently, the parish is home to some 8,500 parishioners. The parish caters to parishioners who come from the different parts of Singapore, mainly from Bukit Batok, Bukit Gombak, Hillview, Jurong East and Choa Chu Kang.

It grew out of the work of a group of Franciscan friars in the 1950s. The building was awarded the Singapore Institute of Architects Religious Building category award in 2004, and Design of the Year award at the first President's Design Award in 2006.The current Parish Priest is Friar Clifford Augustine, OFM. The Assistant Parish Priests of the parish are Friar Justin Lim, OFM, Friar Esmond Chua, OFM and Friar Jason Richard, OFM

Cornerstone Community Church

Cornerstone Community Church (Abbreviation: CSCC) (Chinese: 房角石教会) is an independent, Pentecostal church based in Singapore. It is committed to global missions and has affiliate congregations in Kenya, Uganda, Myanmar, Pakistan, Indonesia, Australia and the Philippines. Established in 1990, the church is led by founder and senior pastor Rev. Yang Tuck Yoong.

Council of Churches of Malaysia

The Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM) is an ecumenical fellowship of Churches and Christian organisations in Malaysia. It is one of the three constituent members of the Christian Federation of Malaysia.

It is affiliated with the Commission on World Mission and Evangelism of the World Council of Churches and a member of the Christian Conference of Asia. It also participates in the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism as part of the Christian Federation of Malaysia.

Eastern Orthodox Metropolitanate of Singapore and South Asia

Metropolitanate of Singapore and South Asia is an Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. It is centered in Singapore and has jurisdiction over Eastern Orthodox Christians in several countries of South Asia and Southeast Asia, including: Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, East Timor, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It was founded in January 2008 by the decision of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Elim Church Singapore

Elim Church (Singapore) or Elim Church Assembly of God is one of the first Pentecostal churches to be established in Singapore. Founded in 1928, it is the first and oldest Assemblies of God church in the city-state.

The church is located at 1079 Serangoon Road. It is approximately 550 metres from Boon Keng MRT Station.

The church represents a wide range of ages, cultures and backgrounds. It conducts several multi-lingual services on Sundays. All services involve lay participation.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malaysia

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malaysia or ELCM is one of the four Lutheran bodies in Malaysia. It currently has 21 congregations nationwide with a total of 3,650 members.The current bishop of the ELCM is Solomon Rajah.

Festival of Praise

Festival of Praise (FOP) is a Christian Praise and Worship concert started in 1986, attended by various churches in Singapore. It is held annually at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Lutheran Church in Singapore

The Lutheran Church in Singapore (LCS) is a Lutheran denomination in Singapore. Constituted in 1997, it currently has approximately 2,834 members in 7 congregations nationwide.The current bishop of the LCS is the Rt. Rev. Terry Kee Buck Hwa.

Malaysia Baptist Convention

The Malaysia Baptist Convention (Malay: Perhimpunan Baptis Malaysia; MBC) is an association of Baptist churches in Malaysia. According to statistics provided by the Baptist World Alliance, 179 local congregations comprising 24,632 members are associated with the MBC.The other significant body of Baptist churches in Malaysia belongs to the Reformed Baptist tradition.

Methodist Church in Singapore

The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS) is the church that Methodists in Singapore belong to. The Church has 46 churches island-wide with around 42,000 members, and is the largest mainline Protestant denomination in Singapore. Its current bishop and head of the Church is Bishop Dr Chong Chin Chung (family name Chong) who was elected in 2016. The Church also has 15 schools, 13 kindergartens and 5 childcare centres under its umbrella.

National Council of Churches of Singapore

The National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) is an ecumenical fellowship of Churches and Christian organisations in Singapore. This duty was initially carried out by the Malayan Christian Council which was then succeeded by the Council of Churches of Malaysia and Singapore. Following the expulsion of Singapore from Malaysia, a new, separate Council of Churches in Singapore was then constituted on 24 July 1974. It represents over 250 churches in Singapore.The current president of the NCCS is Terry Kee Buck Hwa.The Council has been noted to be "socially conservative and theologically evangelical", embracing denominational and liturgical diversity. This has led several independent churches to seek membership in the council.In recent years, it has also taken a more active stance, issuing statements on issues that the Council feels are of grave concern. These include the Pink Dot Movement and the new online gambling laws.

New Creation Church

New Creation Church (Chinese: 新造教会), or abbreviated as NCC, is a Christian megachurch in Singapore founded in 1984. The church currently has an average Sunday attendance of 33,000. It holds services at The Star Performing Arts Centre. It is a non-denominational Christian church, and a member of the National Council of Churches of Singapore. It is not affiliated to any church overseas. The senior pastor of the church is Joseph Prince.

Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church

The Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church (Chinese: 布连拾街长老会磐石堂) is located on Prinsep Street within the Central Area of Singapore's central business district. It is approximately 350 metres from Rochor MRT Station. The church was founded by Reverend Benjamin Peach Keasberry in 1843. It was previously known as the Malay Chapel. In 1930, the chapel was replaced with the present Romanesque-style building. It was gazetted a national monument by the National Heritage Board on 12 January 2000.

Singapore Bible College

Singapore Bible College (SBC) is an evangelical Bible college in Singapore. SBC has over 500 students, representing 25 countries. The current principal is Rev Dr Clement Chia.

Singapore Life Church

Singapore Life Church (Abbreviation: SLC; Chinese: 基督教新加坡生命堂) is a reformed church located on Prinsep Street within the Central Region of Singapore. It is approximately 140 metres from Rochor MRT Station. Founded in 1883, the church is one of the oldest Presbyterian churches in Singapore. Its moderating minister is Rev. Dr. Caleb Soo.

Wesley Methodist Church, Singapore

Wesley Methodist Church is the oldest Methodist church with an English-speaking congregation in Singapore. The second Methodist Church to be built in Singapore, it is located at 5 Fort Canning Road, Singapore 179493.

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