“Singapore is fortunate to be able to enjoy racial and religious harmony. However this happy situation is not by chance, nor the natural order of things. Seeing what is happening elsewhere in the world, we have to be ever mindful that racial and religious harmony for a multi-racial society such as ours should never be taken for granted. This is a value that we must entrench in our society.”
H.E. the late S.R. Nathan, President of Singapore and past IRO Patron.1
The IRO was formed in 1949 by religious leaders from different faiths, with a timeless purpose to achieve harmony of faiths in Singapore. IRO has since been growing interfaith ties in Singapore, and nurturing inter-religious connections for over 70 years. Religious freedom is truly unique in Singapore, where all religious groups are able to practice without persecution from any majority faith. Through keeping multi-faith harmony, the people in Singapore have inter-religious peace, awareness of other religious practices and understanding of different customs or ways of worship.
By continuously developing knowledge and understanding between different faiths, the IRO hopes to constantly generate deeper friendships between groups in diverse Singapore. The IRO is present at local and international interfaith meetings and conferences, and participates in multi-faith dialogues in both Singapore and overseas. The IRO members also visit the places of worship of different religions. A recurring highlight of the many IRO activities is a common pressing concern for peace. The close ties between our religious leaders are strengthened through IRO’s active programmes.