[Buddha-l] Buddhism in Singapore

The Minding Centre dharmafarer at gmail.com
Wed Dec 19 21:15:35 MST 2007

[...Continued, I hope this file is within size quota]

 From the official statistics:
While  both Buddhism and Taoism were the traditional Chinese religions of 
long standing,
Buddhism had become much more widespread in the past two decades and had 
Taoism as the main religion of the Chinese. In 2000, 54 per cent of the 
Chinese identified
themselves as Buddhists, up from 34 per cent in 1980 and 39 per cent in 
1990 (Table 1).
Despite the growth of Buddhism, there was a distinct shift away from the 
traditional Chinese
religions as a whole. The proportion of Chinese who practised either 
Buddhism or Taoism had
declined from 73 per cent in 1980 to 68 per cent in 1990 and 64 per cent in 
See: http://www.singstat.gov.sg/pubn/papers/people/religiousaff.html for stats.

We only have two openly Buddhist Members of Parliament, but the Buddhists 
here are
about 50%, the biggest religious group statistically. Almost everyone here 
in some way
celebrate Christmas as it has become a sort of secular holiday, but more 
churches have
huddle together presenting more Christmas shows to remind the elegant 
crowds of the
true Christmas spirit.

An affluent retiree (watery) Buddhist recently sent me Christmas greetings 
which I promptly "returned"
saying thanks, but not thanks, perhaps only if the Christians wish each 
other Happy Vesak in May.
Christianity is still strongly associated with the white man here. "The 
Pinkerton Syndrome" (white is
better) is a Singapore invention: see Wikipedia.

To date, Singaporean Buddhists here go to Thai, Sinhalese, Myanmarese, 
Taiwanese, Japanese,
and Tibetan temples. We do not have a Singaporean temple yet. However, one 
is coming up end
of 2008, with which I will working closely. There is a growing awareness 
that Buddhists are
(or should be) colour-blind.

i think "Christian Buddhism" is slowly becoming more relevant in Singapore. 
("Christian Buddhism"
has of course been around since the time of Olcott and his likes). If this 
is not politicized
(too much) then I think many will benefit, at least in reducing stress in 
this stress capital of SE Asia,
whose gay population is growing, encouraged by a commensurate number 
executive and dominating
single women and financial independence across gender.


The Minding Centre
Blk 644 Bukit Batok Central, #01-68 (2nd flr),
[near Bukit Batok MRT/Interchange] Singapore 650644.
HP: 8211 0879; Tel: 6569 5205

Dharmafarer (Sutta) website: http://dharmafarer.googlepages.com
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