IRO to target youth with activities on family values

IRO to target youth with activities on family values
Ms Sim Ann, Minister of State for Education and Communications and Information, meeting Zoroastrian youth member Zeus Percy Khambatta and IRO president Noor Mohamed Marican (centre) last night.

The Inter-Religious Organisation Singapore (IRO) will arrange a series of youth-targeted lectures, dialogues and exhibitions from next month in an effort to promote family values.

The activities, to be spearheaded by IRO's 20 or so youth group members, will reach out to all 10 of its member religions.

The series will culminate in the launch of a book documenting the activities next March - in time for the IRO's 66th anniversary.

"Our youth are the future of Singapore and we must start from them," said IRO president Noor Mohamed Marican.

"Through these projects, we hope that the next generation of Singaporeans will continue to preserve the traditional family values found in every religion such as filial piety, mutual respect... and open communication."

Mr Marican was speaking at an inter-faith gathering in Tanjong Pagar last night, which saw about 30 religious leaders and youth representatives speaking on the topic of religious harmony.

Also present was Ms Sim Ann, Minister of State for Education and Communications and Information, who stressed the importance of religious tolerance in Singapore.

"Those who have lived through the tumultuous 1950s and 1960s will know that the state of religious harmony we enjoy today is not something that came about by accident," said Ms Sim, referring to incidents such as the Maria Hertogh riots in 1950 and the race riots of 1964.

She added that it is vital for younger generations to understand the country's transformation from a "relatively fragmented society" to a more cohesive one.

"(It is) an experience that is not possible for us to recreate, but which we want the youth today... to be aware of and to appreciate," Ms Sim added.

Zoroastrian priest and IRO youth member Zeus Percy Khambatta feels that other young people can benefit from the upcoming activities.

The 21-year-old, who has been with IRO for six years, said: "I've gotten to know people from different faiths and it has given me a better understanding of them."

This article was first published on June 18, 2014.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.


More about

Purchase this article for republication.



Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.