Several delegates from an Australian interfaith group visited Archbishop Nicholas Chia at his residence on May 27.
The 10 delegates, comprising community leaders and representatives from the Christian, Baha’i, Muslim and Buddhist faiths, were from Toowoomba, Queensland.
They are members of the Toowoomba Goodwill Committee.
The committee was established to make Toowoomba “a model city of peace of harmony”, according to the Toowoomba Chronicle newspaper.
Archbishop Chia spoke with several of the visitors. Canossian Sr Theresa Seow, who has been involved in interfaith dialogue, later took the guests on a tour of the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd and spoke to the guests on Catholicism in Singapore.
Prior to their Singapore trip, the delegation attended an interfaith summit in Bangkok titled Achieving World Peace through Religious Harmony and Conflict Resolution. It was organised by the World Fellowship of Buddhists.
Commenting on their recent experiences, Ms Nura Behjat of the Baha’i faith said the group’s trip helped her to see what her faith says about the “oneness of religion”. She noted that “in principle all the fundamentals of religion are the same”, at the heart of which is love.
She said the group’s trip has been “rich and educational” and that the various religious leaders have shown them “love and hospitality”.
Mr John Wiedman, a Catholic from the ecumenical commission of Toowoomba diocese, said the visits to various places of faith has been enriching, and he hopes “to take the spirit of Singapore” back to Toowoomba with him.
By Darren Boon