On Sundays, April 13 and May 4, the annual confirmations of Danish 7th graders were held at the Seamen´s Church in Singapore.
Five young Danish confirmands received their Christian acknowledgement of stepping closer towards life as adults at the Church. A total of 125 guests, consisting of family and friends, attended the ceremonies.
Reverend Kirsten Hougaard Eistrup, called it an important rite of passage following months of spiritual reflections, during which candidates were given tools to encourage them to think deeply about what it meant to be Christians, particularly in a cultural and religious melting pot like Singapore.
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“These confirmands lead a different lifestyle from their counterparts who live back in Denmark. Their Danish root has in many ways been pulled up and transplanted into a completely different society. Luckily it is very easy to talk about religion in Singapore because so many faiths are represented here. So we try to make the adolescents think about, what makes their faith unique,” she said.
In Singapore equality among religions is guaranteed by law, which makes acceptance and tolerance come more naturally than in perhaps many other countries.
“In school, children of different religious beliefs, Muslim, Jewish and Hindu, some of them wearing sari dresses, spend all the time together and learn not to become prejudging about others, that’s why the Danish students need to know about their own faith as well, “ she said.
Kirsten Hougaard Eistrup has been the local pastor at the Church since 2011. Every year she picks out specific passages from the Bible to say to each confirmand at the alter. But there is one particular verse from Paul’s Epistle to Philippians that she thinks is in every way fitting for the occasion, so they can be proud of themselves and walk with their heads held high: “Rejoice in the Lord. Again I will say: Rejoice!,” as Reverend Kirsten Hougaard Eistrup recited for the young Danish Christians.
Photos by Danish Seamens Church, Singapore.