Forget fantasy: imagine being marginalised and forgotten

Many of us fantasise about being someone else: someone richer, more attractive, or more famous. But a new book is challenging people to imagine being someone less glamorous: disadvantaged, marginalised and forgotten.

People Like Us is a new resource designed to help people explore racial justice issues. It presents the stories of Biblical characters, asking what it must feel like to live as a disadvantaged vineyard worker or a rich Ethiopian.

It considers the nature of different groups and how they interact, asking how these differences affect our understanding of the world.

Covering topics ranging from asylum and politics to faith and political correctness, the resource is flexible enough to adapt to the needs of the groups or individuals using it. It asks people to read familiar texts with new perspectives, allowing Gospel values to influence an understanding of contemporary issues.

Structured for discussion, each section of the book offers a Bible reading, followed by questions and points for thought. It asks people to interact with the text, assuming a particular character from the story and sharing their feelings and reactions. In this way, it asks us to consider our roles models, the values we hold and the ways in which the world is divided. The final chapter of the pack encourages Christians to get involved in public and political affairs, showing that faith and politics can and should mix.

Naboth Muchopa, Methodist Secretary for Racial Justice, commented; 'We find the issues addressed in these familiar stories manifested in our everyday lives. This resource encourages us to look afresh at these texts, helping us to use shared experience as a basis for talking openly about the issues that affect us and our brothers and sisters in Christ. It often seems that our society will never be free from discrimination, judgement or favour, but with God there is no discrimination: we are all equal in His eyes'.

People Like Us is just one of a number of resources addressing racial justice issues produced by the Methodist Church as part of its commitment to supporting community development and action for justice both in the UK and worldwide.

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