News Story

Firm Friends in Faith and Fasting 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was recognised at the Singapore Muslim Festival 2024 and spent Ramadan breaking fast and rendering service with Muslim friends

On 1 March, 2024, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Singapore was the sole Christian organisation honoured with a token of appreciation at the Singapore Muslim Festival. The token was given in recognition of the Church’s significant contributions to the service mission of festival organisers Jamiyah Singapore. It was presented during the festival’s opening ceremony by guest-of-honour, His Excellency Dato’ Dr Azfar Bin Mohammad Mustafar, the High Commissioner of Malaysia, and Jamiyah president Datuk Dr Mohd Hasbi Bin Abu Bakar to Church stake president Jean-Luc Butel. Others in witness at the ceremony included top dignitaries and local leaders from the Muslim faith.

Singapore Church Stake President Jean-Luc Butel receives a token of appreciation at the Singapore Muslim Festival from guest-of-honour HE Dato’ Dr Azfar Bin Mohammad Mustafar on behalf of festival organisers Jamiyah Singapore. They are joined by Jamiyah president Datuk Dr Mohd Hasbi Bin Abu Bakar The event was held at the festival opening ceremony in Singapore on March 1, 2024. (Screenshot taken from festival video.)© 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

The formality marked another milestone in the special relationship forged through joint community service projects and sustained over a decade between the Church and Jamiyah, along with other Muslim friends. The occasion also ushered a timely transition into the holy month of Ramadan beginning 11 March, with Buka Puasa or Iftar break fast events observed by the Muslim community and its friends, including the Church.

Elder Michael Ang, a senior service missionary for the Church in Singapore and Johor Bahru said, “Iftar is important in Ramadan because it refers to breaking the fast at sunset, a significant event often shared with family and friends. It is an opportunity to spend time together as a community, strengthen relationships, and show gratitude for the blessings of life. During Ramadan, we attended many Iftars for these reasons.”

Elder Ang and other Church members participated in four Buka Puasa events across Singapore, which brought together many different groups in the community.

Over in the east, the Muslim Kidney Action Foundation’s Buka Puasa on March 13, 2024 gathered over 50 interfaith leaders, including Church representatives, to discuss how Singapore can be a model of religious diversity in showing tolerance and acceptance of each other and appreciate commonalities.

Church members also participated in the Iftar coordinated downtown on March 18, 2024 by the Centre for Interfaith Understanding (CIFU), Dialogue Centre and Quan Zhen Cultural Society. Lavon Lew, the Church's National Communictation Council director for Singapore, reflected, “It was heartening to see like-minded individuals come together, learn about fasting in different faiths and traditions as well as hear from friends from underprivileged and vulnerable backgrounds. It was an enlightening evening of open dialogue and discussions over a good meal.”

In the northeast, members of the Church’s Compassvale Ward joined the Buka Puasa event on March 23, 2024. It was held at Al-Mawaddah Mosque together with over 50 community leaders and 100 migrant workers as guests. Mosque leaders shared about the significance of Ramadan for fasting and worship, which informed participants about the celebration.

At the central Ba’alwie Mosque, Church members joined community and religious leaders from the Moulmein-Cairnhill area gathered for the annual Buka Puasa with Imam Habib on March 26, 2024. The mosque’s museum of religious artefacts and religious texts as well as accounts of key historical events were on display, helping guests appreciate the history of Singapore and the Muslim faith. The event was graced by Member of Parliament, Mr. Alvin Tan. 

Volunteers from the Church in Singapore pose together with volunteers from Tasek Utara Mosque and RLAF at the BTA project in Singapore on March 23, 2024. © 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Church continued to be involved in joint community service during Ramadan, having become a repeat collaborator with the Blessings to All (BTA) project under Rahmatan Lil Alamin Foundation (RLAF). Once more, members from the Church’s Sembawang and Jurong Wards worked together with volunteers from Tasek Utara Mosque and RLAF to distribute grocery vouchers and goody bags to 47 families.

Amira Amani, senior executive at RLAF, said, "In a world where differences often divide us, BTA is here as a ray of hope. We're not just bringing people of different faiths together – we're building friendships that make our community stronger. No matter where you're from or what you believe in, you're welcome with open arms at BTA. Because kindness knows no boundaries."

This was the Church’s fifth year participating in the BTA project, where mosques across Singapore work with other faiths to share the blessings of Ramadan with vulnerable families and individuals regardless of race, religion or background. Volunteers across different faiths walked door to door to reach out to the beneficiaries despite the heat, united in the fellowship of service.

Emma Lew, a Church youth volunteer who participated in the BTA project shared, “This is the first time that I’ve worked side by side with members of other faiths. Besides making new friends, I have a newfound admiration and appreciation for their faith and dedication. During this month of Ramadan, they have volunteered, serving others with smiles whilst fasting and in the heat of Singapore. It motivates me to a better disciple of Jesus Christ.”

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