In Singapore, everyone is free to worship as he or she wishes.
People of different faiths respect and accept each other's beliefs. The five major
religions are Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and Christianity.
Taoism is a belief system based on the teachings of Lao Tsu. He was a Chinese sage who believed in the Tao (The Way), a system whereby people could live in harmony with nature. Centuries later Tao began to be associated with astrology and magic. Its followers in Singapore are mainly older Chinese.
|Buddhism was founded by an Indian prince named Siddhartha Gautama, who gave up a life of luxury to search for a way to overcome suffering. After years of meditation, he was enlightened. His followers also try to achieve enlightenment by eliminating all human desires. Most Singaporean Buddhists are Chinese and follow a tradition of Buddhism known as Mahayana, in which merit is gained through good works.|
The religion of the Malays is Islam. The founder of Islam was
the Prophet Mohammed. His followers are called Muslims. They believe in one God, Allah.
They follow the Five Pillars of Wisdom, which include daily prayer, alms for the poor,
and fasting during the month of Ramadan. The Muslim holy book is called the Qur'an.
Muslims are summoned to prayer five times a day by a call that is broadcast on the
Most Indians in Singapore are Hindus. Hindu gods take many different forms and images. According to Hindu beliefs, living things have souls that are reborn after death. A person's conduct in the present will affect what becomes of that person in future lives.
|There is a growing number of Christians in Singapore, mainly among English-educated Chinese. Most are Protestants, but there are also some Catholics. Rather than building new churches, some Christian groups have taken over unused cinemas or shops and turned them into places of worship.|