Some time back, people in Hardwarezone starting complaining about Rony Tan the pastor criticising Buddhism. Events escalated to the point that the Internal Security Department “persuaded” the pastor to say sorry publicly and even apologise to Venerable Kwang Sheng of the Buddhist Federation, which was solemnly accepted.
Buddhists and Christians, particularly the Lighthouse church congregation should take the cue of their leaders, but apparently they did not. This is the signal that religions are sending out to all of us, and the atheists can only smirk amongst themselves about true believers who ironically do not practice what they preach about harmony with their fellow Man.
More than ever is this the time for the Inter-Religious Organisation to boldly reclaim the ground, reign their followers and redirect inter-faith respect and harmony. If they do not, they are only doing disservice to their faiths. But one thing is certain – the intimidating Internal Security Department has shown its hand and might exert greater control of the situation for those sowing Christian-Buddhist discord despite that both faiths are trying to bury the hatchet.
SINGAPORE: The Internal Security Department (ISD) has called up Pastor Rony Tan of Lighthouse Evangelism in connection with his comments and insinuations about Buddhism and Taoism at his church sessions.
These sessions were video-recorded and made available on Lighthouse Evangelism’s website. Video clips of these sessions subsequently became available on YouTube and other websites.
The Ministry of Home Affairs said Pastor Tan’s comments were highly inappropriate and unacceptable as they trivialised and insulted the beliefs of Buddhists and Taoists.
They can also give rise to tension and conflict between the Buddhist/Taoist and Christian communities.
ISD told Pastor Tan that in preaching or proselytising his faith, he must not run down other religions, and must be mindful of the sensitivities of other religions.
Pastor Tan has expressed his deepest apologies and remorse. He deeply regrets that he has been insensitive and offensive towards the Buddhist and Taoist faiths, and that his comments have saddened and hurt their followers.
He has promised that it will never happen again and has also affirmed that he will tell his members to respect other beliefs and build a harmonious Singapore.
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