Religion and Prejudice

Understanding of Hinduism's belief about prejudice and sexism

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Religion and Prejudice key words:

Prejudice: A pre-judged negative thought towards a group of people

Discrimination: An act on a prejudice, treating someone badly because of your prejudgement of them.

Racism: To discriminate against a certain race

Sexism: To discriminate against a gender.

Equality: Humans having all the same tights as each other

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Causes of Prejudice

Ignorance: Lack of understanding of the culture, for example, Rastafarians have been viewed as "druggies" because consuming weed is part of their culture, however, they did this to get on a high in order for them to get in touch with God

Stereotyping: Regarding a person as a conventional type father than an individual/ a preconceived and over-simplified idea of the characteristics of a person

Scapegoating:People may blame people for problems that exist in their society.

Media:The media can portray different groups as having certain negative characteristics, this can sway people's opinions.

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Regious Discrimination

Negatively treating someone due to the fact that they belong to a certain religion.

An example of this is:

The Nazi's murdering and torturing of the Jewish race during the Holocaust because they thought that hews had cause the decreasing strength of their economy.

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Christianity- Prejudice and Discrimination

Christianity teaches that everyone is equal in the eyes of God, meaning that there is no reason to treat people differently. Christian teachings are centered around the idea of love.


"You shall love your neighbour as yourself" - Acts: 17:26


A Bible Story example is that of "The Good Samaritan". The story teachers Christians that a person should only be treated according to their need not their race, gender, age or nationality. A Samaritan helps a Jew despite both nations being in conflict with each other.


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Christianity- Sexism

Some Christian denominations have recently begun to allow women to be priests or ministers (eg, Church of England and the Methodist church). Some remain opposed to this (eg, the Roman Catholic Church).

St Paul, a Christian Saint teaches that women are secondary to men in regards to the Christian Church, some Christians still believe that men should lead and women should follow.

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Islam- Prejudice and Dicrimination

The Qur'an (The Divine Book revealed to the Prophet Muhammad) teaches that everyone was created by Allah (God) and that everyone is equal.


"Cling firmly together by means of Allah's rope and do not be divided" - Sura 2:103







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Islam- Sexism

Islam teaches that men and women are equal in the sight of Allah. However they believe that they are individually responsible for their actions will be judged equally by Allah.

They may believe that men and women are equal but they have different purposes. It is part of Allah’s design and purpose for men and women to have different physical characteristics; likewise it is the duty of a man to provide for the financial needs of his family, and for a woman to look after the home and family. 

Although men will often have the final word, women  have the right to choose whom they marry, to divorce, to study, to own property, to conduct business and to take part in politics.


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Hinduism- Prejudice and Discrimination

Hinduism teaches that all people are part of one unified whole. All life forms are part of the 'stream' of life, so harming another living thing is the same as harming yourself. As a result, many Hindus believe that it is wrong to be prejudiced against someone just because of their race, gender, nationality or age.

"Do not do to another what you would not like done to yourself; that is the gist of the law - all other laws are variable." Mahabharata, 5:39   

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Hinduism- Sexism

Hinduism teaches that men and women are of equal worth, but have different roles and responsibilities because they have different dharmas (religious roles) to follow.

Mothers have huge respect among Hindus because they are their child’s first teacher. In the UK it is usual for Hindu women to have an equal role to men in every respect e.g. education, employment, marriage, worship.

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Religious believers involved in the fight for equa

Martin Luther King:

In the 1950s and 1960s the black community were treated unfairly in America. They were not treated as equal citizens with equal rights. Martin Luther King then held the belief that the way black members of society were being treated unfairly so he set up an organisation called "The Civil Rights Movement". This was a group who peacefully protested for equality.

Mahatma Gandhi:

In 1893 he moved from his home country, India to live in South America where he experienced racial prejudice and discrimination. This was because of the "aphid law" present in South Africa at the time which meant that non-white people were treated unequally. He then decided to star a campaign supporting Indians living in South Africa in a peaceful way.

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