Equality

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The Good Samaritan

The Bible has plenty of 'anti-prejudice' stories.

The idea of 'do to others what you would ahve them do to you' is a fundamental part of Christian teaching (sometimes called the 'Golden Rule'.

Generally Christians believe that everyone was created equal by God, and so they try to avoid discrimination and promote equality. They look to the example of Jesus, who told them stories about equality, and acted true to his own teaching by mixing with a variety of people himself.

One of the most famous stories in the New Testament is the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) where one man comes to the aid of another simply because he is suffering.

The Parable of the Good Samaritan:

A man is beaten up and left half-dead by robbers. First a priest and then a Levite (the Levites were a Jewish preistly tribe) walking down the road see him, but carry on walking. But a Samaritan (considered an enemy by the Jews) bandages the man, puts him on his donkey, takes him to an inn and sees that he is looked after.

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Prejudice

Most Christians would argue that we should avoid prejudice on the basis of race, gender, religion, age, disability, colour or class.

There are many examples of indivdual Christians struggling against injustice, for example:

MARTIN LUTHER KING was a baptist minister who dedicated his life to trying to change the way black people were treated in the USA. He organised peaceful marches, rallies and boycotts, and in 1965 blacks were given equal voting rights to whites. King was assassinated in 1968 aged only 39.

Most Christian Churches Work to Promote Racial Harmony:

"When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him .... Love him as yourself".

The parable of the Good Samaritan is an example of Christian teaching on the treatment of people from other cultures. The Samaritans were a mixed race who suffered a great deal of discrimination at the time Jesus told the story.

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Sex Discrimination

The Bible gives different messages on the subject of sex discrimination. In the New Testament, women are found among Jesus' followers and he treated them equally - remarkable for the time.

"There is neither...male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus"

Women in the Christian Chruch:

There's evidence from the Bible that women, as well as men, taught and led congregations in the very early Christian Church.

But for much of the Church's history, women haven't been allowed to be ordained as priests. The reasoning being that Jesus only called men to be Apostles.

Over the last 50 years, this has started to change - women can now be ordained as ministers in most Protestant denominations and as Anglican priests, but not as Roman Catholic or Orthodox priests.

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Bible Quotes

Equality:

"God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man"

"For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church"

"There is neither Greek nor Greek, slave nor free, male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus"

"Wives submit to your husbands. Husbands be considerate to your wives and treat them with respect as the weaker partner"

"The Lord God said,'it is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him"

"Do to others what you would have them do to you"

"When a foreigner lives with you in your land do not ill treat him...love him as yourself"

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