- (Photo: Facebook/Lawrence Khong)
Lawrence Khong, senior pastor at Faith Community Baptist Church (FCBC), a notable megachurch in Singapore, has warned the nation's former prime minister that repealing the country's homosexual sex laws might be a "looming threat" for families.
"Examples from around the world have shown that the repeal of similar laws have led to negative social changes, especially the breakdown of the family as a basic building block and foundation of the society," Khong expressed in a statement addressing former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, but did not name which countries in particular he had in mind.
Singapore has strict laws against homosexuality that have stood in place since colonial times. They are currently being challenged by gay rights activists who insist that they should be repealed.
Khong, 51, leads one of Singapore's biggest megachurches with 9,000 congregants, which he founded in 1986. Besides being a popular preacher, Knong is also an entertainer, movie producer and magician -- he has led stage shows called the "Magic of Love" and "Magic Box" intended to share Christ with others.
Singapore has one of the most diverse religious populations in the world. Buddhists make up the largest percentage of followers at 33 percent, Christians comprise 18 percent of the population, almost level with the non-religious at 17 percent. Another 15 percent of the population follows Islam, 11 percent adhere to Taoism, and five percent are Hindu.
Goh, who visited Faith Community Baptist Church (FCBC) last week, served as Singapore's prime minister from 1990 to 2004 and has remained relatively neutral in the gay debate, stating that "people are free to stand by their beliefs" regarding the laws.
Singapore's current law minister Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam recently met with Singaporean gay and lesbian activists, Gay Star News reported, and told them that "there can be no suggestion that LGBT citizens are not wanted," but said that the government is currently debating how to respond to petitions to change laws concerning gays and lesbians in a way that would be "acceptable to the majority."
In his statement, Pastor Khong affirmed traditional biblical views on homosexuality, and wrote that his church "affirms that the family unit comprises a man as Father, a woman as Mother, and Children. This is the basic building block of society, a value foundational for a secure future, a premise fundamental to nation-building."
Khong said that he was honored by the former prime minister's visit, and said that his church will continue to pray that the government provides moral leadership and preserves the basic building block of society.
"And with that, to robustly protect our constitutional rights to free speech and religious liberty; so as to ensure that social cohesion and religious harmony are maintained in Singapore," Khong concluded.