Concept

Religion in Singapore

Summary
Religion in Singapore is characterised by a wide variety of religious beliefs and practices due to its diverse ethnic mix of peoples originating from various parts of the world. A secular state, Singapore is commonly termed as a "melting pot" of various religious practices originating from different religious denominations around the world. Most major religious denominations are present in the country, with the Inter-Religious Organisation, Singapore (IRO) recognising 10 major religions. A 2014 analysis by the Pew Research Center found Singapore to be the world's most religiously diverse nation. The most followed religion in Singapore is Buddhism, a plurality with 31.1% of the resident population declaring themselves as adherents at the most recent decennial census in 2020. A large number of Buddhists in Singapore are Chinese, with 40.4% of the ethnic Chinese population in Singapore declaring themselves to be one. There are also sizeable numbers of non-Chinese ethnic groups in Singapore that practices Buddhism. People with no religious affiliation (atheist, agnostic or other irreligious life stances) form the second largest group at 20% of the population. Christianity comes in at 18.9%. Islam, at 15.6%, is followed mainly by Malays, though there are also Indians adhering to it. Taoism comes in at 8%, and Hinduism, at 5%, is followed mainly by the Indians. The government of Singapore is officially tolerant of different religions and encourages religious harmony among the different religions found in Singapore. However, some religions or denominations are officially banned by the government, as they are deemed as cults, such as Jehovah's Witnesses and the Unification Church, although their followers do still practise in secrecy. Some religions, especially those practised by Chinese ethnic groups, have merged their places of worship with other religions such as Hinduism and Islam. A prominent example is that of Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple (situated in the eastern coastal line) wherein three religions, namely Taoism, Hinduism, and Buddhism are co-located.
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