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Prejudice and Discrimination - Describe the teachings of Christianity about discrimination and prejudice and how people should be treated.

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Introduction

Prejudice and Discrimination Describe the teachings of Christianity about discrimination and prejudice and how people should be treated This question is asking me to describe how the church and the bible teach its followers to treat other people. Prejudice is re-judging someone. You make your mind up as to their value before you have met them, often based on a stereotype you may have in your mind. Prejudices can grow from experiences, your family and upbringing or the media. Many people would believe that although bad, prejudice isn't damaging, it is when it leads to discrimination that it is. Discrimination is acting on a prejudice, for example, refusing someone a job because of his or her skin colour. One of the key teachings of Christianity is that all people are equal regardless of race, sex, religion or ability. When God created the world he created humans in his image. All humans were created as equals and in Gods eyes everybody is equal. In Paul's letter to Galatians it states this Christian teaching. "So there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles, between slaves and free men and women, you are all one in union with Christ Jesus". This tells us that when we are in union with God there is no difference between people. It seems that in this letter Paul; was responding to a problem within the church. He has responded by saying that in the eyes of God and religion in union together everybody is equal and has the same value. When it comes to the important issues within religion such as going to heaven your race or sex will not be taken into account. The way you have acted in your life is the most important. God judges us on what we have done rather than race; God doesn't carry prejudice and doesn't discriminate so we should do the same. ...read more.

Middle

Discrimination can be unintentional as a result of unknown prejudices, because eof this paying attention to the teachings about equality could help the world become a less segregated society in which there is no fear of being discriminated against. Explain how followers of Christianity may put these teachings into practice Over many years there have been people who have been inspired by these teachings and used them to guide them to take action against a form of prejudice or discrimination in the world. They have found help and support from God and their religion to keep them going through times of suffering due to discrimination. Religion can provide hope for a suffering world and even inspire people to go further to wipe out the suffering and discrimination. One prime example of this is Martin Luther King, Jr., born in Atlanta in 1929 the son of Alberta Williams King and Martin Luther King, Sr., pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church. He grew up in a middle class family and had an emotionally as well as economically secure childhood. Like many black children of his age experiences meant he became increasingly aware of racism as he grew up: a white friend who suddenly refused to play with him and being made to stand up on the bus so that whites could sit down. Many childhood experiences of racism such as these stayed with him and later in his live drove him to fight for racial equality. King considered careers in medicine and law but decided that he would stay with the church and enter the ministry just as his father had done. As his father proudly said "he was a magnificent preacher", he would later go on to use the teachings he preached and the skills he learnt through preaching to empower the black community to stand up against racial discrimination. In university and through other courses about ethics and philosophy he developed his ideas about the relationship between Christianity and the society. ...read more.

Conclusion

There are many other people who have campaigned against various forms of prejudice and discrimination, for example Archbishop Desmond Tutu campaigned tirelessly against the apartheid system in South Africa. Like King, he had been subjected to discrimination throughout his life; blacks were separated from whites and were treated as inferior. He was an intellectual, very spiritual man who held strong beliefs. He knew that the apartheid system was wrong and knew that God would want him to act based on 3 key Christian teachings: God created us as equals, God is a God of justice and God helps the oppressed. Like King, for many of the same reasons, Tutu believed that violence was not the solution, throughout his campaign he organised many peaceful marches as well as making many powerful public speeches. Tutu did succeed in his campaign, and also won the Nobel peace prize in 1984. Mother Teresa spent her life helping the poor. She believes that without love there cannot be peace and that "Love cannot remain by itself-it has no meaning, Love has to be put into action". She spent her life following Christian teaching, never putting herself before others and not ignoring anyone's need, she is doing what she believes to be God's will - doing what is right. In conclusion there have been many people using Christian teachings, striving to do God's will and do what is right. People like Martin Luther King, Desmond Tutu and Mother Teresa have aimed to make the world a better place for everyone by wiping out prejudices and discrimination at the expense of even their lives. They have found support and inspiration from the teachings in the bible that have enabled them to see what is right and how the world could be. We can all learn something from the teachings in the bible, whether we are followers or not, but also from the efforts of these heroes whose actions shape the way we live our lives today. ...read more.

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