Religion and equality

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The Principle of Equality

  • Equality means that everyone should be treated fairly without suffering, prejudice, or discrimination.
  • The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that everybody should have the same rights and freedoms.
    • "All human beings are born free and equal".
    • "Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this declaration, without distinction of any kind".
  • Despite this people are still discriminated against all over the world. This could be down to their race, sexual orientation, religion, language etc.
  • Prejudice is an idea or feeling that one person has that affects their views of people.
  • Discrimination is when somebody acts upon their prejudice, and treat people accordingly.
  • Discrimination can be made worse when somebody is in a powerful position.
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Biblical Teachings About Equality

  • Christian teachings say that God created everything and that nobody is inferior or superior in Gods eyes.
  • Jesus said that we must love each other.
    • "A new commandment i give you: Love one another. As i have loved you."
  • We should show love to people and not discriminate because we are "all made in the image of God".
  • There are numerous accounts in the bible about everybody being equal.
    • "There is neither Jew not Gentile, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Jesus Christ"
  • Mother Teresa is an example of a Christian that fought against prejudice and discrimination. She founded the Missionaries of Charity, an organisation that cared for the poor and suffering in India.
  • The parable of the sheep and the goats supports the idea that we should all care for one another.
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Biblical Teachings About Equality

  • Christian teachings say that God created everything and that nobody is inferior or superior in Gods eyes.
  • Jesus said that we must love each other.
    • "A new commandment i give you: Love one another. As i have loved you."
  • We should show love to people and not discriminate because we are "all made in the image of God".
  • There are numerous accounts in the bible about everybody being equal.
    • "There is neither Jew not Gentile, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Jesus Christ"
  • Mother Teresa is an example of a Christian that fought against prejudice and discrimination. She founded the Missionaries of Charity, an organisation that cared for the poor and suffering in India.
  • The parable of the sheep and the goats supports the idea that we should all care for one another.
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Christian Attitudes Towards Racism

  • Biblical teachings have made many Christians opposed to racism and discrimination of the sort.
  • Numerous denominations have helped to fight against racism.
    • Martin Luther King was a Baptist Minister, who became very influential in the campaign against racism in America.
  • Despite Christianity's work against racism there have been occasions were the church has been rightly accused of racism and religious intolerance.
    • In the Crusades when people were killed in the name of Christianity.
    • In the sixteenth century in South America, tens of thousands of locals were killed when they refused to convert to Christianity.
    • Many Christians were slave owners, and some believed that they were helping the slaves by making them convert to Christianity.
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The Roles of Women in Christian Society

  • Some Christians believe that men and women should have equal roles in society. Thy get this from teachings such as:
    • Both men and women are created in the image of God.
    • Jesus showed great respect for women (eg. when the woman anointed him with oil).
    • When Jesus rose from the dead a woman saw him first (Mary Magdalene).
  • Other Christians believe that men and women have different roles. They gather this idea from teachings such as:
    • Adam is made before Eve, and she's made as his "helper".
    • Eve is the first to sin.
    • The writings of Paul say that women should be silent in church and keep their heads covered.
  • Recently a lot of Churches feel that women and men should have equal roles at worship (and allow women to be priests (eg, Libby Lane)) Other Churches (Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches) say that the role cannot be fulfilled by a woman.
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Christian Attitudes Towards Other Religions

  • Christianity is a proselytising religion, but they still believe that everybody has the right to practice their own religion. Some believe that its their duty to try and convert people.
  • The Old Testament says that only Jesus' followers can go to heaven.
    • "I am the way, the truth, and the light"
  • Evangelism is when Christians spread the word of God and try to convert people to Christianity. Religious groups like the Salvation Army traditionally evangelise.
  • Missionaries are people that travel to other countries to spread the word of God. Modern day missionaries are more concerned with helping people in developing countries rather than trying to convert them.
  • Ecumenism is when different denominations work together in joint services or community work.
    • Taize is an ecumenical community in France, were Christians from denominations from all over the world come together to worship.
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Forgiveness and Reconciliation

  • Forgiveness is important to Christians as they believe that God is merciful, and shows love by forgiving. They believe that they should show the same attitude.
    • The Lords Prayer shows that Christians must be able to forgive to be forgiven by God.
  • The Christian service of the Eucharist is a time for forgiveness and reconciliation. Its when Christians remember and receive Gods forgiveness through the celebration fo Jesus' sacrifice.
  • Jesus gave his disciples the power to forgive sins on behalf of God, and in the Roman Catholic Church they believe that Priests also have this ability.
    • Roman Catholic Churches believe in the sacrament of reconciliation, which means that a person seeking forgiveness can go to a priest and ask to be forgiven.
  • Jesus taught about forgiveness in his parable about the lost sheep, the lost son parable, and the unforgiving servant parable.
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Comments

tt501

Very good source for revision. Thank you, you have helped me. 

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