Religious Group: Jehovah’s Witnesses
Jehovah’s Witnesses belong to the Christian movement, but their beliefs differ from the ideals of the mainstream Christianity. Charles Taze Russell founded this religious group during the end of the 19th century, and he proclaimed the main principles of the movement.
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Thus, Jehovah’s Witnesses differ from the other religious groups in rejecting the concept of Trinity and hell, in discussing Christ as one of God’s sons but not as God’s Person, in rejecting Christian holidays, in following the norms of morality strictly, and in using the unique interpretation of the Bible based on the different translation.
These principles are reflected in doctrines developed by the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses in New York (Holden 21-24). The differences in beliefs and values led to the open opposition between Jehovah’s Witnesses and the representatives of the other Christian movements. Moreover, the opposition in views with the political authorities, following other religious movements, often leads to limiting the activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses at the social level.
However, in spite of being discussed as a cult, Jehovah’s Witnesses movement contributed to the development of the American society because millions of Americans identify themselves as adherents to the denomination.
Furthermore, Jehovah’s Witnesses are inclined to live focusing on their community without contacting much with the representatives of the other religious groups. As a result, Jehovah’s Witnesses form the developed community of professionals in all the spheres which develop strong connections within the community and follow the ideals of the moral society.
Nevertheless, Jehovah’s Witnesses experience a lot of discrimination within the American society. Thus, people are prejudiced in relation to the preachers, adherents who state the closeness of Armageddon, and acquaintances who do not celebrate holidays because of their visions.
The sources of the social prejudice and discrimination are in non-accepting the tradition of door-to-door preaching, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ position as the followers of God’s truth, and in their rejecting such civil duties as military services (Holden 56-59). Still, focusing on Jehovah’s Witnesses beliefs in Armageddon, it is possible to understand the role of morality, truth, and preaching for them.
Ethnic Group: Hispanics and Latinos
There is a difference between Hispanics and Latinos. Those people who have their origins in the Latin America are Latinos when only Spanish-speaking persons can identify themselves as Hispanics. Thus, Hispanics and Latinos are characterized by the Latin American origin and ancestry.
The Latin Americans form the large ethnic group of immigrants in the USA who have their own culture and language. Many Latin Americans in the USA follow the traditions of their native country which affect their social communication. However, those Latin Americans who do not differ significantly in appearance from the white Americans can successfully assimilate with the white population of the USA while being English-speaking.
Nevertheless, the opposition between this ethnic minority and the white population exists, and it is based on perceiving Latinos as illegal immigrants or as people who used to live and work in the rural areas (Gracia and De Greiff 34-38). Nevertheless, the contribution of Hispanics and Latinos to the American culture is significant because many famous persons in the USA such as politics, scientists, musicians, writers, and actors have the Latin American origin.
Although the contribution of the Latinos to the development of the American society and culture is considerable, millions of Latin Americans are discriminated in the country because of their origin and ethnicity. The main facts of prejudice and discrimination are caused by the developed stereotypes.
Thus, Americans consider the waves of immigration from the Latin America as threatening to the country’s prosperity and social stability. Hispanics and Latinos are often discussed as illegal immigrants who can perform only lowest types of work or as potential criminals.
As a result, the cases of discrimination against Hispanics and Latinos include the difficulties with entering universities and employment. Many persons cannot be employed because of their undeveloped skills, the absence of experience, and position of an immigrant (Gracia and De Greiff 78-82). Thus, it is possible to note that differences in appearance and origin as well as the status of an immigrant can make Hispanics and Latinos suffer from the social pressure in the USA.
Similarities and Differences between Jehovah’s Witnesses and Latinos
The prejudice and discrimination experienced by Jehovah’s Witnesses and Latinos can be discussed as similar with references to the people’s biases towards those persons who differ from them. Both the groups suffer from the social pressure, and negative public’s attitudes because of misunderstanding the origin of the phenomenon.
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Thus, Jehovah’s Witnesses are perceived as the followers of the cult because their visions differ from the other Christians’ ones, and Latinos are perceived as the representatives of the lower class in the society because of their immigrant status.
Nevertheless, the forms of discrimination are different. Jehovah’s Witnesses are not excluded from participating in the social and economic spheres of life, and many Jehovah’s Witnesses are famous professionals in their fields. On the contrary, it is rather difficult for Latinos to find a good job and be treated equally to the white Americans.
Thus, discrimination is associated with impossibility to understand and accept differences characteristic for many people because of their various origins, cultures, and beliefs. As a result, the majority intends to exclude ‘different’ people from the society and limit their activities. These actions lead to direct and indirect discrimination.
Gracia, Jorge, and Pablo De Greiff. Hispanics/Latinos in the United States: Ethnicity, Race, and Rights. USA: Routledge, 2000. Print.
Holden, Andrew. Jehovah’s Witnesses: Portrait of a Contemporary Religious Movement. USA: Routledge, 2002. Print.