Religion & Community Cohesion

A summary of the key points on each topic from the chapter 'Religion and Community Cohesion'.

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Changing Gender Roles in the UK

Changing Female Roles

* Traditionally, a woman's role was to stay at home and look after the children.

* During the two World War, women took on the jobs of men.

* In 1918, after the success of the Suffragette movement in Britain, the 'Representation of the People Act' was passed, allowing women over 30 the right to vote in national elections.

* Post-war, in 1945, many women wanted equality and an end to sexism.

* In 1970, women were given the rights to equal pay

Changing Male Roles

* Traditionally a man's role was to go out to work to provide for the family.

* Men nowadays take a more active role in the raising of children and in the home.

* Men are willing to do tasks traditionally seen as 'women's work', such as cooking.

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How and Why Have Gender Roles Changed?

* Women can vote and become MPs - Changes in the law

* Women can now do any job they want - Changes in the law; effect of wars

* Women are better educated - Effective contraception; equal rights legislation

* Men are more involved in childcare and home-life - Changes in attitudes

Are Male and Female Roles Now Equal?

* Men and women have equal rights and women are achieving success in all areas

* BUT inequalities still exist: roles such as nursing are still seen as feminine

* Girls are achieving higher grades in examinations

* BUT survey show that men can still earn 17% more than women for the same job

* WHY? Many blame it on women having carrer breaks to have children. Some blame discrimination or prejudice.

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Christian Attitudes to Rights for Women in Church

It is generally accepted that men and women should have equal rights but may have different roles.

Some churches have differing views on the role of women within the Church, e.g. Some Churches allow female priests, but others do not.

Reasons to ACCEPT Women as Church Leaders:

+ The Bible say 'God created men and women in his own image' ,  Jesus did NOT dicriminate between men and women; he talked to and taught both ,  Women followers were treated well by Jesus and it was women who stayed by his cross and were the first to see him after resurrection , There is evidence of women leaders in the early Church.

Reasons NOT to Accept Women as Church Leaders:

- The Bible says women should obey their husbands, The Bible says women should be silent in Church ,  All of Jesus' disciples were men, Jesus left the Church in the care of St Peter (a man) ,    In the past, women were regarded as inferior because of Adam and Eve (Eve was sinful)

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Muslim Attitudes to Rights for Women

Muslims believe that Allah created all humans equal, but not the same. They are seen to have different roles and responsibilities. * 'All people are the teeth of a comb.' - The Hadith


* The Qur'an teaches that men should protect the women

* Men should provide for their wife and children - raising them within Islam

* Should dress modestly in loose clothingand covered from naval to knee

* Should attend the Mosque for prayer, but worship separately to Women once inside


* Required to have children and expected to look after them and the home, raising them in Islam

* Should dress modestly in loose clothing

* Do not have to attend the Mosque for prayer. If they do, they must worship separately from men

* Free to work and have a career

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The UK as a Multi-Ethnic Society

Benefits of a Multi-Ethnic Society:

* Encourages racial harmony - helps people of different races and cultures understand each other

* Gives wider variety of music, food, clothes and culture

* Brings new people with fresh ideas

Problems in a Multi-Ethnic Society:

* Ignorance - being uneducated or uninformed about others

* Racism - the belief that some ethnic groups are superior to others

* Discrimination - treating someone differently because of previously held prejudices.

* Persecution - as a result of racism, many people from ethnic minorities have had their human rights abused because of their nationality or the colour of their skin.

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Promotion of Community Cohesion in the UK

The UK has always offered a safe place for people from overseas who may be escaping troubles or trying to find work and improve their lives. The government has tried to encourage all people living in the UK to live and work together peacefully.

What has the Government Done to Prevent Racial Discrimination?

1) Race Relations Act 1976 - made it unlawful to discriminate because of race, colour, ethnic or national origin in employemnt, housing, education and welfare.

2) Made it illegal to use abusive or insulting words of a racial nature in public, or to publish articles that could stir up racism.

3) Commission for Racial Equality - established to fight racism, teach the importance of racial equality and deal with complaints of racism.

4) 'Britishness' test - all new immigrants to the UK must take the test to ensure they have a basic knowledge of British life.

5) The Community Facilitation Programme and Neighbourhood Renewal Units - set up to ensure ethnic minority communities had the skills necessary for work, oppertunities for young people, appropriate healthcare and that their needs were met.

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Why Christians Promote Racial Harmony

* Through the Parable of the Good Samaritan Jesus taught that people follow God's command and love one another.

* The Bible teaches that all Christians are 'one people'.

* Christians believe they should promote racial harmony because through doing this they are puttinng these teachings into practise.


* Martin Luther King Jr - Spread Christian principles of helping others and treating people equally. Thanks to his work, black people were given equal voting rights in 1965.


* Christian Chuches condemn racism and encourage all Christians to treat everyone the smae.

* In the UK the Church of England has its own Race and Community Relatioships Committee. It advises Christians about issues of Racism and helping racial minorities with issues.

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Why Muslims Promote Racial Harmony

Islam teaches that all people are equal and thereofre racism is always wrong. All Muslims are part of the ummah - the Islamic community of Muslims worldwide.

Reasons why Muslims Promote Racial Harmony:

* Allah created all humans        * The Qur'an teaches no race is better than any other

* All races are loved by Allah    * Prophet Muhammad declared all people came from Adam & Eve

* All Muslims are part of the ummah and come from every race in the world

* The Prophet declared in his last sermon 'there is no difference between Arabs and non-Arabs'

Examples: How Muslims Promote Unity

1) Muslims pray together in Arabic, and pray facing Mekkah    

2) All Muslims fast during the month of Ramadan

3) Maslims from all over the world make the pilgrimage (Hajj) to the holy city

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The UK as a Multi-Faith Society

Benefits of Living in a Multi-Faith Society:

* Greater tolerance and understanding of the beliefs of others

* Varied and rich cultural life from experiencing the religious and traditions of others

* Better understanding of different viepoints

* New ways of living and enjoying life

Challenges of Living in a Multi-Faith Society:

* It is not always easy to be open and understanding towards the views of others

* There have been examples of religious persecution and hatred

* Religios tension exists between different faith groups

* Beliefs and values of some groups may be ignored

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Issues Raised about Multi-Faith Societies

Issues Raised

* Conversion - There can be issues where one group of religious believers try to convert another to their faith, which could cause conflict.

Interfaith Marriage - When two members of different religions get married. This could cause conflict between families with different beliefs and values.

Raising Children within inter-faith marriages - Both parents may want their children raised within their own faith. A mixture of beliefs could lead to confusion.

'All religious People Should try and Convert Others to their Religion'. Do You Agree?

+ In some religions it is taught as a duty (Mormons)

+ It is part of the right of Religious Freedom

+ Some believe that their religion is the only correct one so they should show followers of other religions the right way

- Faith is a personal matter

- No one should try to force anyone to believe anything

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Religion and Community Cohesion

How can Religion Promote Community Cohesion?

* Through religious groups, such as the Council of Christians and Jews and the Interfaith Network for the UK, who work together to open discussions and heal divisions between faiths.

* By sharing basic understandings that God created all humans equal.

* Celebration of festivals and worship where different faiths take part in services which show respect and unity for each other.

* Muslim Council of Britain encourages Muslims to take an active role in UK society and not be isolated as a faith group.

* Encouraging representation of different faith groups in jobs such as the police to allow good role models and unity.

Do you think Religions can work Together to Promote Community Cohesion?

Yes, because:

   * If people fro different religions are seen working together, it can send out the right message

   * Many Religions have common ideas.

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Religion & Community Cohesion in the Media

How Media Programmes Present Religious and Community Cohesion Issues:

NEWS PROGRAMMES - Present issues of public concern but should not encourage racism or ill feeling, e.g. reporting on riots.

DISCUSSION PROGRAMMES - Many TV debates have religious themes, e.g. about blasphemy

SOAP OPERAS - Often used to promote understanding or to air an issue that is highlighted in society e.g. religious attitudes to women

TELEVISION DOCUMENTARIES - Programmes such as Everyman, Witness and Panorama deal with contraversial isues.

RADIO - Programmes on stations such as Radio 4 or one-off programmes deal with religious and community themes, e.g. inter faith marriage

What Issues may be Shown in the Media?

- Racial prejudice and tension, Religious tolerance, Religious families coming to terms with being in a community without compromising their beliefs, Religious and community themes, Domestic violence or attitudes towards women.

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