Archbishop William Goh and representatives of various faiths pose for a photo in the Church of St Teresa on Dec 28.

Representatives of different faiths were all smiles as they worked together to solve an interreligious quiz as part of a table game that took place during the Archdiocesan Interreligious Christmas celebration.

Other table games included spotting the difference between two pictures and solving a puzzle.

The annual celebration, held on Dec 28, was organised by the Archdiocesan Catholic Council for Interreligious Dialogue (ACCIRD). 

About 100 people gathered for the celebration at the Church of St Teresa.

In his welcome address, Archbishop William Goh explained to the religious representatives the significance of Christmas.

“Christmas is a celebration of our humanity… it was when the baby boy was born and for us, He is Christ and the light of our humanity.”

However,Religious representatives enjoying themselves during the table games. From left: Deacon Clement Chen (Catholic), Mr P Sivaraman (Hindu), Mr Kuek Yi Hsing (Baha’i) and Ustaz Muhammad Fazalee Jaafar (Muslim). Archbishop Goh noted that the true essence of Christmas has been lost in the secular world.

On how interreligious dialogue can be involved in the celebration of Christmas, he shared that although the different religions celebrate different festivals, “one thing we have in common is our humanity.”

“We are all brothers and sisters working for peace, harmony and unity.”

Msgr Philip Heng then shared briefly about the Church’s history in Singapore as well as that of the Church of St Teresa.

A choir from the parish then entertained those gathered with carols such as Silent Night and Joy to the World.

The evening ended with a dinner where the various religious representatives chatted among themselves and played table games.

Some of them shared their thoughts on the celebration with CatholicNews.

Venerable Shi You Guang, Spiritual Advisor of the Puat Jit Buddhist Temple, said that the interreligious Christmas celebration provides “a bridge between different faiths.”

“It also helps us to reflect on our own religion and tradition,” he added.

Master Chung Kwang Tong, Secretary-General of the Taoist Federation Youth Group, concurred with Venerable Shi. “Alot of the younger people now see festivals as a time to gather and party,” he said.

Mr P Sivaraman, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Sri Krishnan Temple, found the event “very enjoyable and relaxing.”

“The way people mix here, it doesn’t matter if we do not know about the different faiths. We come and we share,” he said.

By Jared Ng
[email protected]