More Singaporeans are not affiliated with any religion
A 2015 household survey revealed that more Singaporeans are not identifying themselves with any religion. Compared to six years ago, those who claim to have no religious affiliation contribute to 18.5 percent of the population in 2015. In 2010, 17 percent of Singaporeans were non-religious.
23 percent of the younger demographic, those aged 15 to 24, said they have no religious affiliation.
Meanwhile, religiosity is growing
This is despite concerns of growing religiosity in Singapore.
In late February, the Catholic Church in Singapore was up in arms about Madonna’s concert because of the concert’s catholic references. The M18 rating for the ‘Rebel Heart’ concert mean that religious-themed songs like ‘Holy Water’ were left unperformed.
— MadonnaNed (@madonnaned) February 29, 2016
Archbishop William Goh’s condemned her, saying that “we should subscribe to authentic arts that lead us to God… and not support the ‘pseudo arts’ that promote sensuality, rebellion, disrespect, pornography”.
The growing threat of religious extremism
Then the is the ever-looming threat of extremism.
In January, 27 Bangladeshis were were caught for considering militant acts overseas and back in their homelands. Most of them were repatriated.
The threat of the Islamic State (ISIS) ideology brewing in Singapore is real. There is growing ISIS influence in the region, with some 700 Indonesians and more than 150 Malaysians joining the terror group in the Middle East. At least seven young men have been influenced by ISIS and arrested for trying to join the fight in Syria or Iraq.
Possible to see people with growing religiosity and more people without religious affiliation
Interestingly, sociologist Tan Ern Ser told local media that it was possible to see both more people without religious affiliation and growing religiosity at the same time. He added that growth in religiousness might be a response to secularisation. Meanwhile, those who do not associate themselves with a religion, might actually have one but may not be a mainstream religion.
Since Singapore is a secular country, it is also possible that people just don’t discuss religion in public spaces too.
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