Christmas joy shared at interfaith gathering
Representatives of various faiths got together for a Christmas celebration hosted by the Archdiocesan Catholic Council for Interreligious Dialogue (ACCIRD).
They included members of the Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Taoist and Zoroastrian communities.
The annual event, held at the Church of St Ignatius on Dec 29, was part of an archdiocesan initiative to promote religious harmony locally, Mr Gerald Kong, ACCIRD executive secretary, told CatholicNews.
Archbishop William Goh, in his welcome address, explained the practice of gift-giving during Christmas.
Because Christians “feel the joy of being loved by God”, they want to share that same love with others through the giving of presents, he said.
Following his address was an explanation of the Christmas crib by Jesuit Msgr Philip Heng and carolling by the parish youth choir.
During the dinner which followed, Archbishop Goh unveiled the new ACCIRD and Archdiocesan Catholic Council for Ecumenical Dialogue (ACCED) logos.
Participants also played a game in which they had to answer questions related to Christmas.
The event ended with everyone forming a human chain and singing Let There be Peace on Earth.
“I think events like these are really important,” Mr Pua Luck Kheng, a Buddhist council member of the Inter-Religious Organisation (Singapore) told CatholicNews. “It’s a great time for us to get together in an informal setting.”
“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for religious leaders of different faiths to come together and strengthen our friendship,” commented Bishop Terry Kee from the Lutheran Church in Singapore.
By Lorna O’Hara
Related Link: Logos for interfaith, ecumenical bodies released