Religions in Singapore—Singaporeans are spiritual people. According to a Gallup Poll, 70% of people believe that religion has a significant role in their daily lives.
According to the 2010 Census, 33.9% of Singaporeans identify as Buddhist, 18.1% as Christian (7.1% identify as Catholic), 14.3% as Muslim, 11.3% as Taoist, 5.2% as Hindu, and 0.7 percent as belonging to another religion altogether. As a result, 16.4 percent of Singaporeans do not identify themselves with a particular religion.
People’s ethnicity and religious beliefs are strongly intertwined in Singapore. Malays are Muslim, Indians are Hindu, but some are Muslim, Christians, or Sikhs, while Chinese Singaporeans are Buddhist, Taoist, or Christians. Since the teachings of Confucianism and Taoism sometimes overlap with those of other world religions, many Singaporeans (mainly Chinese Singaporeans) identify as having more than one religious affiliation (such as Buddhism).
Traditional religious activities are often incorporated into modern practices by newer generations in Singapore.
According to the 2015 General Household Survey, 33.2% of Singaporeans identify as Buddhist, 18.7% as Christian, 14.0% as Muslim, 10.0 percent as Taoist, and 5.0 percent as Hindu. There are ten official religions in the city-state, making it the world’s most varied country. The following list is the five most common religions practiced in Singapore today.
Most Common Religions in Singapore
Buddhism, which is practiced by one-third of the population, is the dominant religious tradition in Singapore. Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana are the three primary forms of Buddhism practiced in Singapore. In Singapore, Thais, Burmese, and Sri Lankans brought Theravada Buddhism, the oldest and most widespread denomination. Chinese immigrants in Singapore brought with them the Mahayana tradition, which is the primary religion of the Chinese community. Last but not least, Tibetans are the primary practitioners of Vajrayana, which originated in Tibet and is practiced mainly by Tibetans. The Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery is a well-known Buddhist temple. Built-in the mid-20th century, it is Singapore’s largest Mahayana Buddhist temple.
Christianity, first brought to Singapore by British immigrants in the nineteenth century, now accounts for over one-fifth of the population and has grown steadily in popularity over time. Even though Singapore has Christian churches of every denomination, the vast majority of the country’s Christian population is Protestant, with a Catholic majority of about 38.5%, according to the 2010 census. The Armenian Church, Singapore’s first Christian temple, was erected in 1835 and may be seen from the air via a video tour. Christians all around the world love the church.
About 14 percent of Singaporeans are Muslim, and most of them are ethnic Malay. Because it was once a part of Malaysia until 1965, Singapore grants certain religious liberties to indigenous Malay ancestry living in the city-state. As a statutory entity, the Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS) protects the interests of Singapore’s Muslim community. Sultan Hussein Shah had the Masjid Sultan, one of Singapore’s most spectacular mosques, constructed in 1824 for his use. It was designated as a national monument in 1975.
One of Singapore’s primary religions is Taoism, which derives its beliefs from the Chinese philosopher Lao Zi. It is estimated that roughly 10% of Singaporeans practice the faith; however, this percentage has been steadily declining since its introduction by Chinese immigrants. Respecting ancestors and treating others with compassion were two of Lao Zi’s core beliefs. Designed and built by Chinese craftsmen in 1842, Singapore’s Thian Hock Keng Temple is the country’s oldest Taoist temple.
Even though Hinduism is a legally recognized religion in Singapore, its adherents make up just 5% of the population. Hinduism was brought to Singapore by migrant workers from India in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is practiced predominantly by the Indian ethnic group. When the workers arrived, they built shrines for various gods, eventually creating the neighborhood known as Little India. Sri Mariamman Temple, Singapore’s first Hindu temple, is more than a century old. If you happen to be a Hindu and live in Chinatown, this temple is a must-stop destination.
More and more young people in Singapore abandon their religious beliefs and become non-believers. Among Singaporeans aged 15 to 44, 65 percent claimed no religious affiliation in 2015, with 18.5 percent of Singaporeans reporting no religious affiliation. It is not uncommon to come across people in this group who identify as nontheistic or nonreligious, such as humanists and atheists.