This morning Straits Times had an article about SGH prohibiting christians from proselytizing (spreading their religion) within Singapore hospitals' compound.
For people from western countries, this might seem like an infringement of religious freedom and a shock to them because they live in a country where it's predominantly christian and that everyone is free to "express" his/her religion in any way.
But here in Singapore we are different. And here in Singapore, it is not right for christians or hindus or buddhists to go around hospitals trying to convert people.
Because Singapore is not a mono-culture country. Singapore is not like America or France, where MOST are white and christian. Singapore is also NOT like Taiwan where most Taiwanese are ethnic Chinese and taoist.
Singapore is made up of many different religions and many races and we live together in tight spaces. One wrong religious comment, one wrong religious argument, and we could all end up destroying each other.
In America, when there is a debate on religion, christians argue with christians and the differences are not too wide and damaging. At the end of the day, American christians can still say "Oh yes let's put our differences away because we are all still christians in Jesus."
However just imagine in Singapore if a christian offends a muslim and at the same time a hindu offends a muslim. There will be chaos. Now, it is not about ONE GOD and different perceptions. It's about MANY GODS and MANY different perceptions.
That is the difference.
So it is only right for Singapore public hospitals to PROHIBIT anyone from trying to spread their religion in their compound. A christian going around in the hospital evangelising might offend a dying buddhist's family members and things might go out of hand.
We don't want unnecessary religious conflicts here in multi-religious Singapore. I think here the key word is "RESPECT". Respect other religions.
Moreover, it isn't morally sound for someone to try to convert a dying and vulnerable patient.
That would be taking advantage of the patient when he/she isn't clear minded.
So if you're thinking about telling the dying and sick about your god/gods, please leave them alone to have some peace with their family members.