Singapore is one of the most religiously diverse nations in the world.
A city-state in Southeast Asia, Singapore hosts an estimated population of 5,612,300 people in an area of 721.5 square km. Singapore is a multi-ethnic nation with no religion claiming an absolute majority. Buddhism is the largest religion in the country with 33.2% of the population adhering to this religion. 18.8% of the population adheres to Christianity. Followers of Taoism and folk religions account for 10% of the population of Singapore. Muslims and Hindus constitute 14% and 5% of the population, respectively. Other religions are represented by only 0.6% of the population. 18.5% of Singaporeans claimed not to be affiliated with any particular region. According to an analysis by the Pew Research Center, Singapore is the most religiously diverse country in the world.
The Largest Religion In Singapore
All three major Buddhist traditions, Mahayana, Vajrayana, and Theravada Buddhism, has a presence in the country. Most of the ethnic Chinese residents of Singapore practice Mahayana Buddhism. Buddhists from Thailand, Myanmar, Japan, and Sri Lanka also live here. Tibetan Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism have exhibited growing popularity in the country in recent decades. A large number of Buddhist monasteries are found throughout Singapore.
Christianity In Singapore
Christians adhering to the different denominations of Christianity are present in Singapore. The religion spread in the country through the work of Christian missionaries. The Christian population in the country cannot be tied to a single ethnic group although a majority are of Eurasian and Chinese descent.
Other Religions In Singapore
Most of Singaporean Muslims are Sunnis and most mosques in the country cater to the needs of this community. However, other Islamic communities like the Shia and Ahmadiyya Muslims also live in the country. While most Muslims in the country are ethnic Malays, Muslims from South Asian countries like India and Pakistan also live in the country. Hindus in Singapore are primarily descendants of Indians who started living in Singapore after its founding in 1819. Several Hindu temples are scattered throughout the country and cater to the religious needs of this community. Many other religions like Taoism, Zoroastrianism, the Baha’i Faith, Sikhism, etc., also have followers in Singapore.
Religious Freedom And Tolerance In Singapore
Singaporeans enjoy the freedom to choose and practice a religion of their choice. The government encourages religious harmony in the state. Schools in the country educate students about the importance of maintaining such harmony. The celebration of religious festivals of different faiths and mixed-race classes also help the students to develop a sense of religious tolerance from a young age. The multiculturalism of Singapore is one of the most admirable features of this city-state.
Religious Beliefs In Singapore
Rank Religion Percentage of Population
1 Buddhism 33.2
2 Christianity 18.8
3 Unaffiliated 18.5
4 Islam 14
5 Taoism and Other Folk Religions 10
6 Hinduism 5
7 Other 0.6
By Oishimaya Sen Nag
•Culled from www.worldatlas.com