Category: Religion

(article extracts from Christian Today and Washington Post)

Ten-year-old Michael Keating was taken by his parents to welcome Pope Francis when he arrived in Philadelphia on September 26. According to the Washington Post, the family – all devout Catholics – had not originally planned to bring Michael because of the difficulty in getting him around. At the last minute, though, they decided to go as a whole family.

They stood on the tarmac at Philadelphia International Airport, among thousands of others. Something must have caused them to stand out, though, because as the Pope was driven away, suddenly the car stopped. Francis got out, walked over to the Keatings, and offered Michael a blessing, kissing his head. Michael’s mother, Kristin, said it was “life-changing for our family”

Pope Francis was already in his car, headed away from the Philadelphia airport, when he saw Michael Keating.

The whole family, from Elverson, Pa., was on the tarmac to watch Michael’s father, Chuck Keating, lead the Bishop Shanahan high school band as it was playing for the pope.

The car stopped.

The pope emerged, walked up to Michael in his wheelchair, and blessed the boy, who has severe disabilities.

Michael’s mother Kristin Keating said she could not understand Francis’s words, which were not in English. But she understood the emotion: “Love.”


A Christian response to …

Here’s a great article by Karina Kreminski on Missio Alliance titled “A Christian response to Iraq and ISIS”.

I shared at our staff devotion this morning from Rom 12.9-21, adapting what Ms Kreminski wrote, on our Christian response to war, persecution, natural disasters and other negative circumstances in the news and all around us.

On 4 Aug 1914, Britain declared war on Germany, a declaration which plunged the nations into WWI. This year, the centenary of WWI, a war which took the lives of around 9 million, is being commemorated by various nations.

This year we commemorate the centenary of the start of the “war to end all wars.” The last veterans have died and the village war memorials, with their tragic lists of the dead, are weathered with age, but war itself is not history and soldiers have not gone away … there are more than 50 conflicts continuing in the world today. As Christians we must not simply ignore or wish them away.

Continue reading

Very interesting infographic about the world’s population, focusing on the Asian part of the 10/40 window.

More than half of the world's population

Some observations by the writer:

  • There are more Muslims in the circle than outside of it.
  • There are more Hindus in the circle than outside of it.
  • There are more Buddhists in the circle than outside of it.
  • The circle pulls all of this off while being mostly water and including the most sparsely populated country on earth (Mongolia).

Read the full article here.
CNA, 27 Feb 2010

SM Goh was the guest-of-honour at the official opening ceremony of the new Bartley Christian Church building. He said

inter-faith harmony in Singapore is active, not passive, meaning religious groups make it a point to stay in touch, allowing them to clear up any misunderstandings that may arise.


Singapore is “blessed” because different religious groups are able to co-exist, and because there is inter-faith dialogue … It’s not just passive harmony, but active harmony … We have the Inter-Religious Organisation, where the leaders meet often so that they are in touch with one another, so they are able to very quickly react to any misunderstanding and put things right.

MP Seah Kian Peng added

Let us not forget that our speeches – whether in Parliament, from the pulpit or at community events like these – are heard by many who may not be present at the event. This is, by and large, a good thing … But it also means that we have to be prepared to defend our statements and our views to a larger audience. We can usefully put forward our own positions and views without running others down.

See related articles
Community leaders celebrate racial harmony month with gala dinner (CNA, 10 Jul 10)
Be rational, calm, decisive but do not over-react: Dr Yaacob on ISD detentions (CNA, 10 Jul 10)
Ties among religious leaders remain strong: IRO president (CNA, 06 Jul 10)
Maintaining racial harmony imperative to Singapore’s survival: MFA (CNA, 28 Apr 10)
CNA, 08 Feb 2010

Ps Rony Tan of Lighthouse Evangelism was recently called up by the Internal Security Department (ISD) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for his comments about Buddhism and Taoism at his church sessions. These were recorded and posted on their church website, and subsequently posted on Youtube and other websites. According to MHA, his comments were

highly inappropriate and unacceptable as they trivialised and insulted the beliefs of Buddhists and Taoists. They can also give rise to tension and conflict between the Buddhist/Taoist and Christian communities.

ISD also told Ps Rony that

in preaching or proselytising his faith, he must not run down other religions, and must be mindful of the sensitivities of other religions.

Ps Rony has since personally met with and formally apologised to leaders of the Buddhist and Taoist federations, and they have accepted his apology.

(read more)

See related articles
Respect for each other’s beliefs must come from deep within (CNA, 20 Jun 10)
S’poreans must not run down or trivialise others’ beliefs: SM Goh (CNA, 13 Feb 10)
Living with religious harmony (King David, 10 Feb 10) – a must read, exploring the biblical concept of tolerance
DPM Wong says “glad to note” Pastor Tan realised his mistake (CNA, 10 Feb 10)
Religious leaders urge followers to speak out if rule of respect is breached (CNA, 10 Feb 10)
Pastor apologises personally to Buddhist & Taoist federations (CNA, 9 Feb 10)

%d bloggers like this: