Taoists launch drive to debunk misconceptions

August 19th, 2008 - 11:42 am ICT by IANS  

Singapore, Aug 19 (DPA) Taoists are launching a drive to debunk misconceptions that their religion is based largely on superstition, after a poll showed many young followers are switching to Christianity, leaders of the faith said Tuesday.An exhibition containing nearly 400 books in 36 languages will include the works of Taoist sage Lao Zi, known as Dao De Jing, and materials from 10 other major religions in Singapore.

“There have been misconceptions that Taoism is a religion based on superstitious beliefs,” The Straits Times quoted Tan Thiam Lye, Taoism Federation chairman, as saying.

“We hope to let everyone have a glimpse of the history, culture and philosophies in Taoism practices.”

Believed to have been written more than 2,500 years ago, the books will be available at the six-day exhibition starting Sep 4.

A recent survey conducted by the newspaper showed that 25 percent of Taoists leave the faith, with most under the age of 24.

While Buddhism still has the most followers in the city-state, Christianity is attracting many former Taoists.

The exhibition will include chanting of Taoist scriptures and performances by a Taoist orchestra group.

Taoists make up 8.5 percent of Singapore’s population, according to census data, down from 30 percent a decade earlier.

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