Archive for the ‘Racism’ Category

In 2007 Britain marked 200 years since the British Parliament passed the bill to abolish the Slave Trade, or what is otherwise known as the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act. As I was involved in marking this event, in particular throughout Scotland, I sought to inform myself about this issue. In addition to reading about the Slave Trade and the Scottish involvement with it (my friend Iain Whyte published his book just in time) I also sought to find out if there were any significant local links (where I live) with the slave trade. Well I did find that there were two buildings which were built with money from the salve trade, one of them is in Blackburn (Blackburn House) and the other one in Bathgate (Bathgate Academy).

I have also learned that Christians found themselves on both side of the argument in regards to slave trade and slavery: it is now clear that Christians played a very significant role in the abolition of the slave trade and slavery itself, but there were other Christians who sought to defend the slave trade and slavery (it took another 26 years before slavery was outlawed in the UK).

John Lampard a retired Methodist minister wrote an article in 2007 showing how Christians in particular in the American South argued for slavery on the basis of the bible. Lampard shows how Revd Thornton Stringfellow, a Baptist pastor born in 1788 and Ordained in 1814 argued that slavery was undoubtedly biblical. I recommend his article which can be downloaded from here (the Set all Free website).

More information about Slavery in Scotland can be found on Scotland and Slavery website which I helped create while working for ACTS, which is still hosted by them.


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This coming Sunday many churches in the UK will mark the Racial Justice Sunday, when we reflect on how our prejudices sometimes cause distress and pain to those that are different than us. I feel that too many churches don’t take this issue seriously enough. Minority ethnic people still face prejudice and discrimination, and many of them experience these in our churches. You can download resources for Racial Justice Sunday for free from CTBI (Churches Together in Britain and Ireland) website. (Just to say that I was part of the team that prepared this year’s resources, so you better use them!)

On a related issue: I wrote a post a while ago suggesting that a community radio station in Glasgow, radio Awaz, actively discriminates against Christians in Glasgow. The Sunday Times at the weekend published short article saying that Mahboob is calling for the cut in public funding on this radio station and he is now going to take his case to the European Parliament. I still think that Asian Christians (in particular those from Pakistan and Iran) suffer double discrimination in this country. This case though brings to the fore a religious dimension which complicates the issue.

I find it though puzzling that sometimes people who are discriminated against find it very easy to exclude and marginalise others.

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