This city-state, located one degree above the equator and immediately below the tip of the Malayan peninsula, is one of the most successful economies in the world, having moved from third world status in the 1960s to a first world living standard today. In fact, the average Singaporean makes 5% more than the average American. National population is 3.8 million.
Singapore is a multiracial society: Chinese (77%), Malay (14%), Indian (8%), with the remaining 1%+ being Filipino, Thai, Japanese, Sri Lankan, Indonesian, and Korean. Official languages are Mandarin Chinese, English, Malay, and Tamil (the language of the southeastern-most state of India. In truth, 24 languages are spoken, especially the Chinese dialects of Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese, Hakka, and Hainanese Malay (Bahasa Malaysia, the language of Malaysia) and the Indian languages of Tamil, Malayalam, Punjabi, Bengali, Sindhi, and Hindi.
42% of Singaporeans are Buddhists, 15% Muslims, and 15% Christians. Interestingly, over one third of university students have a Christian orientation. The government places a high premium on racial and religious harmony, and strongly forbids any religion from acting in the political arena.
It has been an honor for me to speak in Singapore through the years, witnessing the impressive growth of the nation, as well as that of the Christian community. This is one of the nicest places to visit in Asia; my first experience was in 1983, and I return frequently.
Please keep the Republic of Singapore in your prayers.
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