Multi Ethnic / Faith Communities
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Multi-ethnic society

Racial harmony – benefits of a multi ethnic society

  • The UK has a wide variety of music, culture, food and clothes from different cultures.
  • It can make for a more peaceful world as people of different races and nationalities learn to live and work alongside each other.
  • It is good for religions to see members of different ethnic groups following their religion

Problems of discrimination and racism

  • Prejudiced employers will not give jobs to certain religious groups
  • Prejudiced teachers might get ethnic children expelled or put them in lower sets
  • Prejudiced police officers might stop black people more often or not treat them seriously.

Effects of discrimination and racism

  • If treated unfairly some groups might work against society
  • If people feel wont get a good job due to prejudice some will turn to crime or terrorism
  • Can lead to extremist groups coming about e.g. the BNP (British National Party)

Community Cohesion

How the government promotes it

  • Schools have to promote community cohesion
  • Race Relations Act = illegal to discriminate against people due to race, colour etc
  • Appointing MPs from ethnic backgrounds
  • Fund research into the best ways of achieving community cohesion

Why is community cohesion important

  • Without it different groups have their own agendas which can lead to violence
  • E.g. Oldham, Burnley and Bradford riots

Why Christians promote racial harmony

  • The Bible opens with a description about God creating everyone in his own image. so prejudice  and discrimination are wrong.
  • In parable of the good Samaritan Jesus tells people to help whoever is in need regardless of race or religion.
  • There are Christian leaders of every colour and race so silly for them to be racist
  • St Paul said everyone is equal in the eyes of God

Why Muslims promote racial harmony

  • Muhammed’s first prayer caller was a black African
  • All humans are made by God
  • Muhammed said all Muslims were brothers with each other
  • Islam is a world wide religion made up of all races

The UK as a multi faith society

  • In 2001 the UK had 1,500,000 Muslims, 500,000 Hindus, 300,000 Sikhs, 250,000 Jews.
  • 36% of people in Tower Hamlets were Muslims
  • 14% of people in Birmingham were Muslims
  • Leicester was 14% Hindu

Benefits of living in a multi-faith society

  • Learn what other religions are about from friends and neighbours
  • Seeing others who are committed to their religion may make others think about their own faith more
  • People are likely to become a lot more understanding
  • Cause more religious tolerance which will limit conflict

Issues for religion in a multi faith society

  • Conversion – teachings of religions can be in conflict with each other. Some see it as their duty to convert others. This causes problems because this could be seen as a type of prejudice. This could lead to arguments and violence.
  • Bringing up children – in the UK children come into contact with lots of other religions and they may go against their parents. Some religions say parents must keep children in their faith in order to see them when they die. Could cause friction between parents and children.
  • Inter faith marriage – people of different meet and fall in love. Causes problems e.g. where will they marry, and which religion will their children grow up in? If these are not worked out then they can lead to hatred and violence.

How religions promote community cohesion in UK

  • Work with other religions to see what they have in common. E.g. Christianity, Islam and Judaism all believe in Abraham and Moses. Try to find ways to live together.
  • Develop ways of having interfaith marriages e.g.  Protestant churches and liberal Jewish synagogues have special wedding services for mixed couples.
  •  Respond to how children should be brought up e.g. Some Protestant Churches and liberal Jewish synagogues encourage mixed couples to raise children in both faiths and let the child decide when they are older.
  • Join together in special groups to explore ways of helping community cohesion e.g. the Inter Faith Network has members from lots of religions working together to promote good relations between religions.

Key words:

  • Equality- the state of everyone having equal rights regardless of gender/race/class
  • Sexism- discriminating against people because of their gender (being male or female)
  • Multi-ethnic society- many different races and cultures living together in one society
  • Prejudice- believing some people are inferior or superior without even knowing them
  • Discrimination-putting prejudice into practice and treating people less favourably because of their race/gender/colour/class
  • Racism- the belief that some races are superior to others
  • Racial harmony-different races/colours living together happily
  • Multi-faith society- many different religions living together in one society
  • Religious pluralism -accepting all religions as having an equal right to coexist
  • Religious freedom- the right to practise your religion and change your religion
  • Community Cohesion – a common vision and shared sense of belonging for all groups in society
  • Interfaith marriage – marriage where the husband and wife are from different religions
  • Ethnic Minority – a member of an ethnic group (race) which is much smaller than the majority group

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