The idea of having a Code on Religious Harmony was first proposed by PM Goh Chok Tong in October 2002. A working committee chaired by Minister of State Chan Soo Sen subsequently worked with national bodies of all mainstream religious groups. Collectively they came out with this Declaration on Religious Harmony.
The Declaration affirms the importance of, and Singaporeans’ commitment towards, religious harmony. It is a basis for Singaporeans to reflect on religious harmony, and what should be done to achieve it.
An Inter-Religious Harmony Circle (IRHC) comprising representatives of all religious groups who worked out the Declaration, was formed to facilitate follow-ups of the Declaration. To start with, IRHC has decided to encourage Singaporeans to recite the Declaration during the week of the Racial Harmony Day (on 21st July) every year.
This Declaration by the “people in
The Declaration affirms five key values:
we recognize the “secular nature of our State”.
This is to ensure what while
Secondly, we show our commitment towards promoting social cohesion in our society, and
Thirdly, respecting each other’s freedom of religion
Fourthly, we shall always “grow our common space” “while respecting our diversity”. Bigger common space does not have to be achieved at the expense of our individual identities. With better understanding, both can grow together.
Last, but not least, we make efforts to “foster inter-religious communications”. More communications always help reduce conflicts.
practising these values, we will ensure that religion
will not be abused to create conflict and disharmony in