PRIME Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday underlined the need for religious leaders and their communities to adopt a spirit of 'give and take'' in maintaining the peace in Singapore.

His message comes at a time of rising religiosity around the world, a trend the Government watches closely as it has implications on Singapore's multi-religious society.

Pointing to this trend, Mr Lee said religion was a positive force in societies. 'It provides spiritual guidance, solace, a sense of purpose to many, not just personal calm and a sense of peace but also social responsibility and obligation, duty to our fellow man.

'But we have to remember that with faith strong on all sides, all the more we need to look to tolerance and give and take, and deal with any issues that may arise from time to time calmly and sensibly,' he said.

His speech to 150 people from various faiths at the Methodist Church's 125th anniversary celebrations also dwelt at length on the Church's contributions to education and social services in Singapore that benefitted people of all religions. His family was among them, he said, citing his mother and sons.

The late Kwa Geok Choo studied at Methodist Girls' School, which was at the Mt Sophia site where Sunday's commemoration was held. The place is now called Old School. Two of his sons went to Anglo-Chinese School (Independent): Hongyi, now 23, and Haoyi, 21.

Adopt 'give and take' spirit