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Religious institutes sign agreement on inter-faith education

The S Rajaratnam School of International Studies will work with the Buddhist College of Singapore, the Hindu Centre, MUIS Academy, the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary, the Taoist College and Trinity Theological College on courses and research. 

SINGAPORE: There will be new post-graduate courses on religious diversity, as well as opportunities for inter-faith teaching exchanges, with the signing of a new agreement between the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) and six religious institutions on Thursday (Feb 2).

RSIS and each of the six institutes - the Buddhist College of Singapore, the Hindu Centre, MUIS Academy, the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary, the Taoist College and Trinity Theological College - will work together to promote greater understanding of different religions in Singapore.

For example, RSIS and Trinity Theological College will jointly develop two courses for an RSIS Asian Studies programme.

Other collaborations could involve organising seminars and combining research in enhancing social bonds. 

RSIS' head of studies in inter-religious relations in the Plural Societies Programme, Mohammad Alami Musa, said that while divisiveness can be seen in other parts of the world, Singapore has worked very hard to bring its people together through the exchange of experiences and knowledge.

The memorandum of understanding, according to Mr Alami, is an effort to contribute to that progress and also further enhance ties.

He added that Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam's comments on Wednesday about how recent regional events could disrupt Singapore's racial harmony were timely and pertinent, as inter-religious peace in Singapore could not be taken for granted.

Echoing these sentiments, Trinity Theological College's principal, Ngoei Foong Nghian, said Singapore's proactive work in ensuring religious harmony could be an example to other nations as a way to live.