Singapore church defends singing Christian on flight

At left, Jonathan Neo gives a speech, and singing on a flight earlier this month, at right. Photos: 3:16 Church/Facebook, Jackjenszjr/TikTok
At left, Jonathan Neo gives a speech, and singing on a flight earlier this month, at right. Photos: 3:16 Church/Facebook, Jackjenszjr/TikTok

A Christian denomination has come to the defense of a Singaporean man who drew flak for preaching gospel on a flight that made widespread news recently.

The 3:16 Church on Robinson Road yesterday said that 24-year-old Jonathan Neo’s Christian sing-a-long session on the flight was not wrong and part of his free will.

“The beauty of this nation is not in the exclusion of religious practices and views but a neutral platform for the free exercise of all cultural diversities which are beautiful and valuable to a thriving culture,” a Pastor Norman wrote, reminding that Singapore is a “multi-cultural, multi-religious society.”

Neo’s very public expression of faith is one of many ways what “authentic Christianity can look like,” the pastor said.

Saturday on Twitter, a video went viral of Neo strumming his guitar down the aisle and singing with his missionary group. Some passengers seemed happy and held up their phones to record, while others were clearly upset and annoyed. 

“Worshipping Jesus 30,000 Feet In The Air!” the caption read to the video, which has been watched more than 36 million times.

@jackjenszjr We are taking this flight over for Jesus! ✈️🔥 #christiantiktok #jesuslovesyou #jesusisking #jesus #flight #airplane #preacher #bibleversedaily #tiktokjesus #gospel ♬ original sound – Jack Jensz Jr.

The video was first posted to TikTok on April 9 by a Jack Jensz Jr., who said Monday that they had traveled to Ukraine with their team to help refugees. They got permission from the cabin crew to sing on the flight and were even introduced by the pilot over the PA system, he said.

Jensz said “everyone clapped” while they sang How Great Is Our God and some were “crying” after the song ended.

According to reports, they were on an EasyJet flight to Germany.

But many were quick to denounce his actions, saying it was an “inconsiderate” disruption. Even some self-declared Christians said they thought it was “annoying” too. 

Like everything, it also turned into a culture war flash point between progressive and conservative Americans. The church, too, has now gotten a bunch of 1-rating Google reviews after its public response yesterday.

The pastor added that Neo had permission to sing and passengers on the flight “had agency to voice out their disapproval should they not want to tolerate his singing.” 

“Regardless, people will disagree with Jon’s actions, especially on social media. And in an increasingly anti-christian climate, many (who btw have the right to their opinions) will amplify these narratives,” he wrote yesterday.

According to a profile by Thir.st, Neo spent the last four years living as an evangelist nomad before recently going to the Ukrainian border to help refugees. 

Other stories you should check out:
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Botched in translation: Man puzzled by ‘awful English’ at Beijing eatery with Singapore Airlines spirit

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