Singaporean and Pope Talk of Need for Interreligious Dialogue

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 12, 2002 ( Singapore President Sellapan Ramanathan Nathan discussed the need for interreligious dialogue as an aid to world peace, when he visited John Paul II.

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The Singaporean was received by Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, Vatican secretary for relations with states, following today’s papal audience, according to Vatican Press Office director Joaquín Navarro-Valls.

«The conversations allowed for an exchange of opinions on the successful state of relations between the Church and state, and on initiatives for cooperation in cultural matters,» the Vatican spokesman disclosed.

Also mentioned was «the need for a loyal interreligious dialogue, as a contribution to peace and to stability in the region and the world,» Navarro-Valls’ statement concludes.

Most of Singapore’s 4.4 million inhabitants are either Buddhist or Taoist. Muslims comprise 14.9% of the population, Christians 12.8%.

The island nation’s 151,000 Catholics are served by 30 parishes, 67 diocesan priests, 59 religious priests, 216 women religious, 47 educational centers and 10 charity centers.

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