Cornerstone church tightens protocols on inviting speakers after contentious remarks by guest preacher Lou Engle

Pastor Yang Tuck Yoong, founder of Cornerstone Community Church, speaks during a guest visit by members of Ba'alwie Mosque to the church premises on July 8, 2018.
Pastor Yang Tuck Yoong, founder of Cornerstone Community Church, speaks during a guest visit by members of Ba'alwie Mosque to the church premises on July 8, 2018.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - Cornerstone Community Church has tightened its protocols and procedures, following alleged anti-Islamic remarks made by an American Christian personality the church had invited to speak earlier this year.

Pastor Yang Tuck Yoong said that it was important to make sure "something like this never happens again".

The senior pastor was speaking to The Straits Times after a guest visit by members of Ba'alwie Mosque to the church premises in Odeon Katong on Sunday (July 8).

During the visit, Imam Habib Hassan and a small delegation from the mosque were introduced to an 850-strong audience at the church before they took a tour of the premises.

"We believe in proactively building a bridge of trust and understanding between leaders of communities by meeting one another regularly," said Pastor Yang. "I believe this can resolve potential misunderstandings."

Earlier in March, the church had invited American Christian personality Lou Engle to speak at a Singapore conference. During Mr Engle's sermon, the Christian preacher seemed to suggest that Islam was a threat to Christianity, an online publication reported.

The incident prompted the Ministry of Home Affairs to investigate and Pastor Yang, who is the founder of the church, to apologise.

 
 

"Rigid due diligence is now in place to vet every speaker we invite," said Pastor Yang.

"The wonderful takeaway from this episode is that we have found ourselves new friends from the Muslim community."

In April, Imam Habib Hassan from Ba'alwie Mosque invited the pastor and some church members over for lunch. Sunday's event was a reciprocation of their warm hospitality, said Pastor Yang.

During Sunday’s visit, Imam Habib Hassan emphasised  the good in all religions, noting that the basic teachings of various religions focus on creating good people.

Pastor Yang added: "I look forward to the continuation of a good relationship between the Christian and Muslim communities in Singapore marked by a friendship of mutual respect, and understanding."