In South Africa there was Apartheid from the late 1940s that saw the separation of black and white people and was enforced by law. Apartheid came to an end in the 1990s.
Many Christians who believed in the Bible’s teaching about equality campaigned against Apartheid. Trevor Huddleston was a white vicar who lived in a black township, he organised non-violent protests and urged countries to boycott sporting and cultural links with South Africa until Apartheid came to an end.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu was born in South Africa in 1931. He became a priest during the apartheid regime and spent years campaigning to end it. He was a black bishop who used his sermons and speeches to explain how apartheid was against Jesus’ teaching, he travelled to pursue other governments to help bring apartheid to an end. He led non-violent protests and saw prayer as vital to seeing change.After Apartheid had ended, Archbishop Tutu wanted to encourage black and whites to both admit the wrongdoing they had caused and he set up the ‘Truth and reconciliation’ Commission to look into human rights abuses and protect those who were willing to admit what they had done.
“God does not show favouritism” is a quote from the Bible which reflects the belief Christians have that God loves everyone equally. “If there is an alien living in your land do not ill treat him” is another quote that suggests prejudice and discrimination against people of different races or ethnic origin is wrong and that instead we should, ‘Treat others as you wish to be treated’ (the Golden Rule).
Why would a Christian be against Racism?
- Everyone is made ‘In God’s image’ therefore should be treated equally
- Jesus taught people to ‘Love your neighbour’ with the parable of the Good Samaritan teaching that everyone is our neighbour and we should treat people equally regardless of race.
- Martin Luther King was a Christian who fought against racism in America through non-violent peaceful protests. His beliefs in equality for all regardless of race prompted him to change people’s attitudes towards black people in America.
- St Paul wrote, ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, all are one in Christ.” This suggests that we shouldn’t discriminate as we all equally valuable regardless of race, gender…
- A lovely 3 minute introduction to this amazing man
- A 3 minute interview which shows why Desmond Tutu wanted to forgive those involved in Apartheid
- A 10 minute interview with Desmond Tutu about Apartheid and Forgiveness
- Desmond Tutu speaks at the start of this GCSE Bitesize video about whether there’s a God.
- A BBC profile of Archbishop Desmond Tutu