Religious Studies: Religion and Prejudice

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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, Sexism- To discriminate against a certain race or gender. 

Equality- Humans having all the same rights as each other. 

Causes of Prejudice:

  • Ignorance- Lack of understanding of the culture, for example, Rastafarians have been viewed as being "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 rather 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.

Religious 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 people of the Jewish race during the Holocaust because they thought that the jews had caused the decreasing strength of their economy.

Religious views on Prejudice and Discrimination 

Majority of the religious groups believe strongly in equality, justice and harmony so they are against prejudice and discrimination.  

Christian View:

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

"I give you a new commandment, that you love another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another." - John 13:34 

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

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" - Galatians 3:28 

A Bible story example is that of "The Good Samaritan". The story teaches 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. 

Christian attitude to women:

Some Christian denominations believe that women should be allowed to become priests or ministers, for example the Methodists or The followers of Church of England. However, the Roman Catholic Christians do not believe in this. 

St Paul, a Christian saint teaches that…

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