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Archbishop William Goh with representatives of different faiths at the Archdiocesan Interreligious Christmas celebration. Photo: VITA Images
 
Jared Ng

It is important for all religions to work together to ensure there is continued significance in the various religious festivals and celebrations. This is in light of secularisation which is sweeping across societies, and posing a challenge to every religion as it downplays their unique values and foundation.

This was the message Archbishop William Goh shared with representatives of different faiths during the Archdiocesan Interreligious Christmas celebration.

The annual celebration, held on Dec 26 at the Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace, was organised by the Archdiocesan Catholic Council for Interreligious Dialogue (ACCIRD).

Archbishop Goh said that it was important to uphold the importance of religious festivals “so that people could appreciate the values of each religion”.

He shared the example of Christmas, which for Christians is the “incarnation of God. Jesus Christ is the gift of God in person,” he said.

Archbishop Goh also said religions have to go beyond just having mutual respect for one another. “We have to reach the next level which is to appreciate what values each religion promotes and how other religions can learn from these values.”

Representatives present included those from the Buddhist, Muslim, Taoist, Jewish and Hindu communities.

The event was an opportunity for the representatives to mingle and strengthen friendships. Those who had never met also had the chance to make new friends.

Parish priest Father Timothy Yeo shared with those gathered the history of the church. A video was also used to share the church’s beginnings.

The Queen of Peace Church choir and the children’s choir entertained guests with carols such as Joy to the World and Hark the Herald Angels Sing.

The celebration ended with the representatives singing Let There Be Peace on Earth after dinner. 

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