“This crisis will bring us closer together as fellow Singaporeans united in one country”: Bishop Kee in reply to Muis
Salt&Light // April 9, 2020, 7:03 pm
Photo by Rogan Yeoh on Unsplash.
In a warm exchange of greetings over this year’s highly unusual Holy Week and Easter, the Mufti of The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), Nazirudin Mohd Nasir, penned a letter to Bishop Terry Kee, President of the National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) on April 8 (see below).
Bishop Kee replied:
Dear Mufti Nazirudin,
We are sincerely touched and deeply appreciative of your warm greetings and well wishes on the Holy Week leading to Good Friday and Easter Sunday for the Christian community in Singapore.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about unprecedented times for the world and our nation. For the Christian community, this has meant changes such as pre-recording or live-streaming of services instead of physical attendance. However, as you have mentioned, these have also helped us focus on the core of our religious beliefs. Although Christians all over Singapore are physically apart this Holy Week, we are nevertheless drawn together in one spirit to reflect anew on the forgiveness that our Lord brought about through his death, and on the hope that the resurrection brings. This hope for us translates into eager anticipation to gather physically in worship again, as we continue to plead upon God’s mercy to bring relief to the pandemic.
We know that we are not alone in having to make adjustments, and likewise, we remember the Muslim community as you prepare to welcome the holy month of Ramadan. It is encouraging to hear Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Maliki Osman mention in Parliament on Monday (April 6) that MUIS is working alongside the asatizah to render available religious programmes online and over the radio. The financial care of freelance asatizah and the channelling of funds to equip mosques with enhanced COVID-19 precautionary measures when they reopen are highly commendable.
We are also especially heartened to hear your Ramadan address (April 7) to the Muslim community to face life’s difficulties squarely when presented with them. In this month of Sha’ban, we empathize with what you must be experiencing in preparation for Ramadan and can appreciate that this must have been a most difficult time since mosque closures several weeks ago. Like you, we are convinced of the resilience of the Muslim community in the midst of these challenges.
These times have impelled us as religious communities to contemplate and think creatively on how our religious traditions and practices can be maintained in the face of the necessary safe distancing and ‘circuit-breaker’ measures. We thank you for your friendship and are confident that this crisis will bring us closer together as fellow Singaporeans united in one country.
Bishop Terry Kee
National Council of Churches of Singapore
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