Footage of a man preaching to young Muslim schoolboys in an attempt to convert them to Christianity surfaced on social media today — a clip that caught the man telling the children to repeat a prayer after him.
It could potentially spark some outrage beyond the Muslim community, given the young age of the boys who are seen wearing Pei Tong Primary School uniforms. Presumably, one of the children thought that something was off and decided to stealthily record the conversation.
The clip itself begins with the man having passed the kids some pamphlets about the Christian faith. The evangelist can be heard preaching to the boys on why they need to believe in Jesus Christ as their savior.
“Uncle, that means it’s a must to believe in Jesus?” inquired one of the boys.
“Not I say one, God say,” the man replied.
The boys can be seen visibly tired of listening to the man, who would not let their repeated statements that they were Muslim deter him.
“Jesus love Muslim also, even the terrorists Jesus save,” the man was heard saying in response, showing knowledge of the Muslim belief in Jesus as a prophet. The video ends with the children — seemingly wanting to get the whole thing over with — reciting back Christian prayers as directed by the evangelist.
According to the Singapore Police Force in a statement to Yahoo News, a police report was lodged about the incident. Currently, a 66-year-old man is assisting the police in investigations.
Is it actually illegal for Singapore’s Christian evangelists to proselytize the Malay-Muslim population? It’s hard to find a concrete answer to that, but the Singapore government is said to discourage missionaries from proselytizing the Malay population from Islam to other religions to avoid racial and religious tensions. Article 152 in the Constitution states that the government protects and safeguards the religious and cultural interests of the Malay population — the indigenous people of Singapore.
In 2009, a Christian Singaporean couple was convicted for distributing evangelical publications that cast Islam in a negative light on grounds that it promoted feelings of ill-will between Christians and Muslims.
Editor’s Note: Article updated with a statement from the police