Religious and Ethnic Groups Paper
Paul R. Smith
Instructor: Sarah Lange
There is a lot of diversity when it comes to religion and race, mostly because of the lack of understanding each of them. If we take the time to learn a little bit about them I think that it will open our eyes and let us be more accepting of whom they are. Although there is a lot of discrimination in the world today we are still a lot more understanding than our ancestors where. The religious group that I have chosen is Jehovah’s Witnesses because they are more shunned against than any other religion I know. As for the ethnic group I chose is Black (African descent) because it seems to me that they are more discriminated against than any other race.
Jehovah’s Witnesses beliefs are somewhat similar to the Christian beliefs, for example, they rely on the authority of the Bible, worship only one God and trust in Jesus’ death and resurrection for salvation. Some of the differences from the other religions are that they reject the doctrine of the Trinity and the existence of Hell, believes that Gods name is Jehovah, and they also believe the Holy Spirit to be Gods active force. They also believe that only 144,000 people will go to Heaven to rule with God and those that are left on earth that are deemed worthy will live in a restored Garden of Eden. Witnesses also believe that the purpose of Jesus incarnation of earth was threefold, which are as follows, To teach the truth about God, To provide a model of perfect life for people to follow, and To sacrifice his life to set humans free from sin and death. It is their belief that Jesus was not nailed to a cross but rather a single upright stake and that God raised Jesus from the dead, as a spirit creature, and he returned to Heaven, but that he was not made King until 1914. Witnesses try to push their religion onto other people without even taking that they already have a religion into consideration. They go door-to-door and try to get others to believe the way they do and also try to convert people with other religion. This causes people to become very upset and sometimes they become very aggressive and violent towards the Witnesses. There tends to be a lot of very heated discussions on whether their beliefs are what is right and others beliefs are wrong no matter if they worship the same God or not. There are several ways that Witnesses have contributed to the American culture over the years, for example, they have administered functions called “The Society” and the “Watch Tower Society”, which they have used to put out their version of the word of God. They have won several court cases in which it has let people have their own religious freedoms to worship as they please. Witnesses have also made it to where you can have an operation and not have to accept a blood transfusion since because of their religion they do not believe in getting. There are several different procedures now that can be done without a transfusion when one was needed the way they done the surgery before. In their religion they are extremely discriminated against because of how they worship and what they believe. The sources of this prejudice is from the people but also mainly from the government because of their concern that it is wrong for them to spread the word the way they do, so to speak. For example, the French government branded them a “Dangerous Sect.”, and 71 Kingdom Halls where vandalized, burned and shot at and also fire bombed because of how they worshipped. French officials also publically called them criminals and taxed 60 percent on their religion and conveniently forgetting to tax other religions. Also Moscow even went as far as to outlaw their religion and said that they cannot even have a house of worship nor could they practice their faith in the privacy of their own home. There are several other ways that this religion has been discriminated...
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