Jainism joins Singapore's inter-faith fold

Singapore - Jainism, an ancient faith with roots in India, has become the 10th religion to join Singapore's Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO), the group said.

It has been a four-year process, during which the IRO checked to be sure that Jainism was not a sect or an offshoot of one. The city-state has about 1,000 followers of the faith.

By including Jainism, the IRO is sending a message that Singapore respects and rejoices in the diversity of human beliefs, said Foreign Minister George Yeo at an event organised by the Singapore Jain Religious Society.

At a time when a clash of civilisations seems a looming threat in many countries, it is absolutely necessary to promote interfaith respect and understanding, Yeo said.

The IRO, which promotes friendship and cooperation among religions, includes Hinduism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, the Baha'i faith and now Jainism.