Religions encourage followers to reach out to others

Ms Wong Lai Chun highlighted recruitment discrimination as an example of religious groups choosing exclusivity and isolation (What are religious leaders doing to promote pluralism?; April 13).

However, in my 40 years of being a Christian, I have never come across any church leader who excluded anyone from becoming part of their community. All the churches that I know welcome and reach out to visitors with love.

In fact, the reverse is true. Oftentimes, the message of the churches is for their followers to reach out to people outside the church in order to connect and help the community on the ground.

For instance, churches organise blood donation drives, and work with non-affiliated parties such as the NTUC-U Care Fund to organise medical services and home help to the frail elderly.

I am sure it is similar for the other religious groups.

Taoist and Christian entities have raised funds to set up dialysis centres to provide treatments to renal patients of all races.

Many religious groups provide free meals, tuition and financial assistance to low-income households and children , regardless of race, language, religion or culture.

Religious groups also help out in the area of social welfare.

Many of these groups provide free meals, tuition and financial assistance to low-income households and children in the community, regardless of race, language, religion or culture.

Let us not forget individuals who regularly offer free funeral services to the least fortunate in our society.

Far from being in their silos, religious bodies in Singapore play important roles in uplifting our community, breaking down walls and building bridges.

Priscilla Poh Beng Hoon (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 19, 2017, with the headline 'Religions encourage followers to reach out to others'. Print Edition | Subscribe