12 Changing Profiles: The Historical Development of Christianity in Singapore

In: Religious Transformation in Modern Asia


Singapore, a small and cosmopolitan city-state in Southeast Asia, is located among the dynamic economies of the Pacific Rim. It takes up the most special position in Southeast Asia, not only for its economic prosperity and strict governance but also its unique diversity of ethnic, cultural, linguistic and major religious heritages such as Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Chinese folk religions and Christianity. Among them Christianity is the fastest growing and the most significant religion in the multi-ethnic Asian nation as it socially made a remarkable impact on the establishment of modernity in Singapore. The profile of the new western religion in Singapore has changed dramatically since the founding of modern Singapore by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819. Then, how has the profile of Christianity been changed since the beginning of the nineteenth century? How did the western religion make social influence in Singapore particularly through the Christian mission educations? This section explores the history and development of Christianity: from the earliest mission effort of British and American missionaries, to the settlement of Christianity amidst a highly diversified population in Singapore today. This gives a special attention on how Christianity created social transformations of Singapore through the religious education.

Religious Transformation in Modern Asia

A Transnational Movement