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"Religious tensions at home" real in Singapore

Alvin Chua, Singapore, The Buddhist Channel, March 21, 2005

The report "Religious tensions at home" is indeed a very serious one in Singapore. Many new converts I spoke to did so partly because they received distorted information about all the other religions in the world. In some cases, these "misrepresentations" were communicated by their church pastors - young, ignorant and too eager to convert!

For example, a relative who attends New Creation Church at Suntec City said his pastor told him that Buddhist relics are commonly used as ornaments worned i n the form of bracelets, etc! He apparently went on to say "the gods in other religions are dumb" while "the Christian God is alive and constantly talking".

Having studied the Bible and Buddhist sutras at length, and been a Buddhist for over ten years, I cannot help but feel a certain sense of superiority in Buddhism (at the deeper level). Many Buddhist parents do no fully grasp the teachings of the Buddha and thus could not share the wonderful gifts of dharma with their children. On the other hand, our youth , being largely English educated, and seen the economic superiority of the USA and many Christian countries, naturally develop an inclination towards Christianity.

Having said that, how., some of the religious practises in quasi-Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism are inherently culture-based and hard to comprehend for these aspiring Christians; hence, the push-factor. Parents have to first educate themselves in their own chosen faith before they can communicate effectively with their children.

That way, as I have always told my kind evangelical friends, that old label of cough syrup that your mother gave you when you were a little kid, produced by some poor Sin Sehs in rural China in the early 1900s, is still as effective today. There's no need to change to a "superior" drug from the USA.


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