Singapore was under the Sultanate of Johore (Malaysia). It became a British colony in 1867. Occupied by Japan in World War II, it acquired the status of a self-governing colony in 1959, joined the Federation of Malaysia in 1963, and became independent in 1965. The island state developed rapidly from a situation of mass poverty and lack of resources into a highly successful free-market economy based on manufacturing, export, and finance. Singapore has a very diverse population and a centrally regulated society, in which the freedom of individuals and groups is conditioned by the objective of stability and harmonious relationships between the different ethnic and religious groups. In 1987, the Christian Conference of Asia's headquarters in Singapore were closed by the government and it was expelled, accused of supporting "subversive movements". In 1991 Singapore introduced the "Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act", to regulate religions and reli- gious activities. The Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches were established in Singapore during the colonial period. With the exception of the Catholics, they are together in the National Council of Churches. The Assemblies of God (Pentecostal) and other Charismatic and Evangelical churches came in the 20th century. The Mar Thoma and Orthodox Syrian churches are also present, among the Indian community. Singapore is a stronghold of the evangelical movement, also in the Protestant and Anglican churches. The Evangelical Fellowship of Singapore is affiliated with the WEA (which had its offices in Singa- pore at one time).