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New museum in Singapore will encourage religious harmony and peace.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced soon-to-be-opening Harmony in Diversity Museum that will be opening in Singapore. While enjoying a dinner to celebrate the 66th anniversary of the Inter-Religious Organization, Mr. Lee announced the goals and intentions of the museum, which is established by the young leaders in the group. Among these leaders is Habib Hassan, who was given an award that night for his establishment of the first inter-faith museum at the Ba-Alwie Mosque in Bukit Timah. The museum, which is similar to the Harmony in Diversity Museum that will be open in 6 months, contains ancient artifacts, including Bibles, Taoism on Bamboo and Arabic manuscripts.

Singapore’s Inter-Religious Organization

The leaders at IRO hope the work with schools, teachers and others to use the museum as a learning tool. They hope to engrain a “spirit of give-and-take” in the students, as well as teach them about religious harmony. The leaders plan to join with the group Inter-Religious Relations in Plural Studies to create an overall database of the types of religious activity in Singapore. The IRRPS is located at the S. Rajaratnarm School of International Studies in Singapore. The database should provide an extensive amount of information that can be used to improve the museum.

Gurmit Singh, the president of the IRO, said that his group is working with the Ministry of Home Affairs while the museum is being put together. They aim to have it open in six months’ time, and plan to display artifacts that display the common aspects across the various religions in the world. They hope to teach students a sense of harmony, tolerance and peace, something valued greatly in Singapore. Though the process takes time, the younger generation of Singapore will be able to take life lessons from the museum.

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