Muslims and Christians in Singapore Collaborate in Historic Iftar

Contributed By Spencer Williams, Church News contributor

  • 5 June 2019

Dr. Mohd Hasbi, president of Jamiyah Singapore, addressed the urgent need to strengthen interfaith collaboration and action on May 27, 2019.  Photo by Soh Wee Leng Daniel.

Article Highlights

  • Iftar, an event to break the fast of Ramadan, was celebrated at the Church facilities in Singapore.
  • Events like this will lead to more interfaith collaboration in the future.
  • Both communities have also worked together on service projects in the community.

“If we seek understanding and take time to look closely, there are many things that can and do bring us together.” —Elder David F. Evans, General Authority Seventy

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Jamiyah Singapore organized a community iftar held on May 27, 2019, at a meetinghouse of the Church—a historic occasion, as it was their first time breaking the fast in a Christian house of worship.

This community event was led by Elder David F. Evans, Asia Area President of the Church, and Dr. Mohd Hasbi bin Abu Baker, president of Jamiyah Singapore. Seven hundred people were involved with the iftar, and government officials, diplomats, grassroots leaders, and religious leaders of various faiths in Singapore came to hear from speakers and participate in the event.

“If we seek understanding and take time to look closely, there are many things that can and do bring us together,” Elder Evans told Newsroom. “When observed with charity and understanding, these intersections of faith, practice, and custom can and will bring a feeling of unity and purpose.”

Dr. Mohd Hasbi addressed the urgent need to strengthen interfaith collaboration and action. Respecting the principle of unity in diversity, regardless of race, nationality, and religion, will help to mitigate how often crimes and violent acts occur.

Mr. S. Iswaran, minister for communications and information, and Melvin Young, a member of Parliament, were in attendance and took the opportunity to share their thoughts. They both expressed their satisfaction in and appreciation for the impact of the interfaith harmony initiatives.

This event, built on the common foundation of fasting, is an inspiring display of a desire and effort to collaborate with and respect each other within our diversity. The fast that Church members participate in once a month is very similar to the Muslim practice of fasting during the month of Ramadan. Both faiths dedicate their fast to be closer to God and to donate money to serve those in need.

Members of the Church in Singapore have partnered with Jamiyah Singapore to work on several service projects in the past and have built great relationships in their community. They hope to reach out to other faiths and inspire more interfaith collaboration and collective action.

Elder David F. Evans, Asia Area President of the Church, led the event jointly with the president of Jamiyah Singapore. Photo by Soh Wee Leng Daniel.

Member of Parliament Melvin Young shared his appreciation that many community leaders from other faiths were in attendance at the iftar on May 27, 2019. Photo by Soh Wee Leng Daniel.

Special guest Mr. S. Iswaran, minister for communications and information, spoke at the historic iftar event. Photo by Soh Wee Leng Daniel.

Government officials, diplomats, grassroots leaders, and religious leaders from various faiths in Singapore attended the historic iftar on May 27, 2019. Photo by Soh Wee Leng Daniel.

A youth choir composed of Latter-day Saints and Jamiyah Singapore members opened the iftar on May 27, 2019, with song. Photo by Soh Wee Leng Daniel.