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Christianity and Racism

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Introduction

Christian coursework - World issues What is racism? Racism is described as a combination of prejudice and power. Sometimes racial prejudice is made acceptable and supported by key institutions in our society. Racism is when racial prejudice gets turned into action that harms the weaker group. So racism is seen as a way of acting towards other groups of people. Explain what Christian teachings might be used in a discussion about racism. Each different section of the Christian society has a different view about racism. The Church of England believes that it should not take place, and that throughout his ministry, Jesus met on equal terms with people of races other than his own, for example, in his conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well, (John 4:8). Even though Jesus told them to, his disciples found it hard to obey his command given to them. They did not seem to understand why. Paul wrote: "In this new life one's nationality or race or education or social position is unimportant; such thing means nothing. Whether a person has Christ is what matters, and he is equally available to all." (Colossians 3:11) The Methodist church believes that all are equal before God: "whatever our skin colour or back ground we are one in our common humanity and one in Christ." ...read more.

Middle

He was aware from an early age that black people were not treated as equal citizens in America. 4 million black Africans were torn from their homes, and shipped to America to work as slaves. Just because they were black, they were only paid half of what a white person was. They were even segregated in public places. There was a secret society, which wanted slavery to be reintroduced and violence used against them. These people were members of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Martin Luther King was a Christian; he too believed the only way was the non-violent way, and peaceful forms of protest. Not all black people agreed with this, the black power movement lead by Malcolm X believed that the only way equality would be achieved is by violence. Martin Luther King organised a bus boycott, to stop people being segregated on the buses. The black people were told to sit at the back, and the white people to sit at the front, but if a white person wanted to sit in a seat where a black person was the black person had to move for them. He organised this bus boycott, where black people refused to use buses, and those white people who thought it right. After this Martin Luther King was the leader of the civil rights movement, and in 1956 the government passed a law to make it illegal to segregate people on buses. ...read more.

Conclusion

Malcolm X used violence to help him, whereas Martin Luther King was a pacifist and believed strictly in non-violence. Although Martin Luther King was well known, and respected in South America, he only became known in other countries when he was dead. In places the Bible contradicts its self, here are a couple of examples of which is saying using violence is all right, and a few where it is saying violence promotes evil: "Put your sword back in its place, Jesus said to him, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword." (Matthew 26:52) "Make sure that nobody pays back wrong with wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else." (1Thessalonians 5:15) These quotations is against violence, but the next one is not: "But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the same." (Matthew 5:39) As you can tell there is more in the bible telling people not to be violent, but still it basically says to stand up for yourself if someone hurts you. Obviously it is better not to get involved, but do what you have to. Although Martin Luther King was well known, and respected in South America, he only became known in other countries when he was dead. Katie Best 11.6 ...read more.

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