• Discrimination against LGBTQI+ can lead to emotional distress, depression, anxiety and even suicide.
  • They often feel pressured to fit in with society's conventional ideas of being male or female.
  • They live with the pressure of being ridiculed, intimidated and even being physically abused.
  • They are harassed and abused at school, work and in social situations.
  • Words like 'gay', 'lesbian' are used as a derogatory terms.
  • Many prefer to conceal their sexual orientation.
  • They feel uncomfortable in conservative/religious communities.
    NOTE: Any relevant response must be awarded. (10)


  • The fundamental reason is cultural orientation of African society.
  • It is largely patriarchal (male dominated).
  • It is also very traditional, with the male as head of the household, and the wife and children being under his care.
  • In such a society, any homosexual relationship is taboo.
  • The second basic reason for the discrimination against LGBTQI+ is embedded in religious orientation.
  • For example, according to ATR, the only sexual relationship permissible is between a man and a woman.
  • According to the Abrahamic religions too, especially those who maintain a literalist approach to the interpretation of the normative sources, the only sexual relationship allowed is between a man and a woman.
  • They argue that God created male and female and blessed them to multiply and fill the earth. Same sex relationships cannot procreate.
  • Any other kind of sexual relationship is also perceived as sin.
  • Both cultural and religious teachings contribute directly towards the discrimination of LGBTQI+.
    NOTE: Other relevant responses must be credited. (14)


  • At the core of ATR is the concept of Ubuntu.
  • It teaches that 'umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu' which means that a person is a person through other people.
  • Ubuntu also emphasizes the concept of 'community needs before individual needs.'
  • Therefore, all individual roles (e.g. parent, elder, farmer, teacher, etc.) should always put the community first. This will include sexual orientation.
  • ATR teaches that people who are different in terms of appearance, social standing or sexual orientation, should all be treated equally.
  • Ill-treating them is provocation of the ancestors and disrespect to the community.
  • This concept of Ubuntu promotes harmony amongst the people, irrespective of their background, belief, language, sex or gender etc.
  • ATR teaches that sexual orientation, like other values, is something one can learn from the community.
  • There are people within the community whose task is to teach the young ones about adulthood, including sexual orientation.


  • Bahá'is believe that all humanity is one, under the mercy of an all-loving Creator.
  • Faith of no man can be conditioned by anyone except himself. No one has the right to judge others because of their sexual orientation.
  • The Bahá'i religion teaches that we must learn to live together, respecting diverse individuals and groups, each within their own perspective of reality.
  • We must foster social and peaceful order through cultivating unity in diversity.
  • Bahá'is see the matter of homosexuality as complex and uncommon.
  • Bahá'is believe that it is not appropriate to coerce homosexuals on matters of sexual orientation or belief. This applies to all persons who are 'non-conformist'.
  • The Bahá'i framework of sexual ethics is rooted in the teaching of Bahá'u'lláh, 'The breath of life unto all created things, the 'lamp' of God, wisdom and loving providence should be observed'.
  • This encourages people of the Bahá'i faith to be non-judgmental, and accepting of all lifestyles.
    NOTE: Other relevant responses must be credited. (14)


  • All religious communities irrespective of their religious and cultural affiliations must condemn discrimination against LGBTQI+.
  • They must teach their followers that all people, irrespective of their sexual orientation, are created by God.
  • LGBTQI+ must not be barred from interacting with the religious community and religious organisations.
  • In every social structure, there should be appropriate gender representation.
  • The religious community must organise community gatherings where they can educate people about the problem of discrimination.
  • They should be educated about possible factors that affect sexual orientation.
  • The religious community must take responsibility for reporting any act of discrimination happening in their community to the law enforcement agencies.
  • Religious leaders should be seen to interact with diverse groups, including the LGBTQI+ community.
    NOTE: Other relevant responses must be credited. (12)



  • According to the Qur'an, Allah created the universe in six phases.
  • Allah also provides the energy that everything in the universe needs for survival and growth.
  • The existence of the universe is not accidental and life is not purposeless, but planned and purposeful.
  • The universe, having been created in time, is not eternal but has a fixed time span.
  • Since Allah alone is eternal, to believe in the eternity of the universe would mean equating creation to the Creator
    This is a major sin (shirk).
    NOTE: Other relevant responses must be credited. (10)


  • The Muslims' understanding of divinity is shaped essentially by the Qur'an.
  • Islam believes in a universal God called Allah.
  • Belief in the oneness of Allah is the foundation of Islam.
  • Allah has other titles, which reflect His attributes.
    He is the Creator (Khaliq) and Originator (Badi) of the universe, continuing to create new forms of life and sustaining all of creation.
    NOTE: Other relevant responses must be credited. (10)


  • According to Islam, life does not cease with death, but continues beyond the grave.
  • Those who die enter a new phase, called barzakh, where they remain, till the Day of Resurrection.
  • In this phase (barzakh), the soul is in a state of either contentment or torment.
  • On the Day of Resurrection, all people will be called by Allah to account for their lives on earth.
  • On the Day of Judgement, those who believe in Allah and have fulfilled their obligations to the Creator as well as to humanity, will be rewarded.
  • They will be admitted to paradise (jannah).
  • Those who deny the existence of Allah will be punished and consigned to hell (jahannam).
  • Death is not the end of life, but a phase in the journey of human kind. (10)


  • The universe did not have a sudden start, nor will it have a sudden end.
  • The universe is going through phases of recurrent manifestation and dissolution.
  • The universe comes into manifestation as Brahma breathes out, and dissolves as he breathes in.
  • The passive state is a state of rest when nothing happens.
  • At rest, the universe has no form, and is undifferentiated.
  • After a long time, the Creator stirs and becomes active. This is when some parts of the universe are different from other parts and 'creation' begins. (10)


  • It is a misconception that Hindus have many gods.
  • Belief in one God is the central teaching of the Hindus' worldview.
  • The Rig Veda says, 'Truth (God) is one, sages call it by various names.'
  • The highest concept of God in Hinduism is Brahman.
  • Brahman is everywhere and is the source of existence.
  • In essence Brahman cannot be described.
  • While this is the highest ideal, Hinduism teaches that God can also be experienced in graded stages according the spiritual development of the devotee.
  • The first level or experience of God under Brahman is Ishwara, the formless God.
  • Ishwara is everywhere.
  • Ishwara assumes forms of the following gods: Brahma for creation, Shiva for destruction and Vishnu for preservation. (10)


  • Humans are trapped in the circle of birth and rebirth known as Samsara.
  • When a person dies, the soul is reborn (reincarnated) into another body.
  • The spiritual goal of humans is to liberate the soul from continual rebirth.
  • The soul can be liberated once it has found oneness with Brahma.
  • The soul can only be truly happy when this liberation is achieved through spiritual paths (yogas).
  • This liberation is called moksha.
    NOTE: Any relevant five facts must be accepted. (10)


  • Oral tradition serves as an effective way of passing the original message from one generation to another.
  • Some religions lay more emphasis on oral tradition than their sacred texts.
  • Oral tradition still plays an important role in some religions, e.g. African Traditional Religion.
  • Oral tradition can run parallel to written texts, and supplement it.
  • Oral tradition provides more clarity than written text, owing to its narrative style.
  • The chain of narrators is also important, as it leads to the source.
  • Oral tradition reflects local dialect and culture. It is therefore more easily understood in each culture.
    NOTE: Other relevant responses must be credited. (10)


  • Contemporary inspiration refers to divine inspiration that still takes place today.
  • This differs from the inspiration of the founders of the major religions, as this inspiration was often recorded as scripture.
  • It was specific inspiration to chosen individuals (prophets/messengers).
  • The latest inspiration that was recorded as scripture was that of Baha'u'llah (19th century).
  • There are no special conditions for contemporary inspiration: no new scripture is produced.
  • The result is that contemporary inspiration has become common in modern day society.
  • This is why many new denominations are being formed.
  • An example of this is Christianity, where internal differences are increasing.
  • In African Traditional Religion, contemporary inspiration is no different to inspiration of the past. It therefore does not contribute to internal differences.
  • This is because shamans and diviners exist today, as they existed in the past.
  • As a result of contemporary inspiration, numerous subdivisions and world views are emerging across all religions.
    NOTE: Other relevant responses must be credited. (10)


3.1.1 NOTE: In 3.1.1. and 3.1.2, A maximum of EIGHT marks may be awarded where the candidate has discussed only ONE branch.

  • The Sunni-Shi'a split started after the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632 CE.
  • A debate ensued as to who the Prophet's successor would be.
  • The majority of the followers believed that Abu Bakr, the prophet's father-in law, should be a successor or caliph. They became known as 'Sunnis'.
  • A small group believed that the Prophet's son-in law, Ali ibn Talib, should be the first caliph. They became known as 'Shi'a' (partisan or separate party).
  • While this was a political difference, the disagreement escalated over the interpretation of certain Hadith (teaching of the Prophet) and laws.
  • Most Sunnis accept the Hadith collections of Imam Bukhari.
  • The Shi'a give more importance to the Hadith narrated by the family of Prophet Muhammad (Ahl al Bayt).
    NOTE: Other relevant responses must be credited. (12)


  • The Hadith narrated by the companions of the Prophet have equal status to those narrated by the Prophet's family members.
  • The Sunni believe that all the teachings contained in the Books of Hadith are equally important.
  • Sunnis follow the teachings of scholars from the 7th and 8th centuries.
  • Sunnis do not accept that a caliph can come exclusively from the Prophet's family. 
  • The Hadith narrated by the companions of the Prophet have less significance than those narrated by the Prophet's family members.
  • The Shi'a follow the teachings and opinions only of a living scholar.
  • They believe that the last caliph from the Prophet's family was hidden in a cave and will one day reappear as leader. He is referred to as 'Imam'. 

NOTE: Other relevant responses must be credited. (12)

  • Judaism is divided into three main groups: Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Judaism.
  • The internal differences were caused by differences in interpretation of teachings and beliefs.
  • Orthodox Jews accept the entire Torah, both written (Pentateuch) and oral (Talmud), as revealed by God Himself.
  • Reform Judaism had its origin in Germany, where many Jews felt that they should adapt to a changing world, and rejected some of the teachings and beliefs of Orthodox Jews.
  • This group does not believe that the Messiah would lead them to the Holy Land of Palestine.
  • They do not regard Palestine as their homeland.
  • Conservative Judaism came into being as a rejection of the Reform movement.
  • Conservative Jews also reject many practices of the Orthodox group as non-essential, such as the prayer box. (12)


Related Items

  • They believe that the Torah is divine and authoritative.
  • Orthodox Jews believe in strict observance of the written and oral Torah.
  • They believe that Jewish law (halakhah) must be strictly obeyed.
  • They believe that a man is prohibited by law to touch his wife while she is menstruating until she performs a ritual called Mikvah after 12 days (Taharat Hamishpacha).
  • They believe in Kashrut (law of eating) 
  • They believe that the Torah was given by God through ideas that humans mediated.
  • They believe that the law must be adapted to modern times.
  • They believe in what is called Rabbinic Judaism which sees the Torah through the eyes and teaching of Rabbis.
  • They believe that some prescriptions of the Torah are simple culture and not divine. 
  • They believe that the Torah was written by humans over time.
  • They do not believe that halakhah is binding.
  • They believe that all Jews are equal, male and female.
  • They subscribe to the principle of Tikkun Olam, the pursuit of social justice.


  • Grammar and historical context:
  • This means that one must use the rules of grammar and the historical facts to interpret a text.
  • Clearest meaning:
  • One should first consider the literal meaning of the text, and then consider other possible interpretations.
  • Plan, purpose and context:
  • A piece of writing should be viewed as a whole. What is the writing plan or structure? What was the author's purpose in writing this text? What is the context of the passage being looked at?
  • Figurative meaning:
  • Some sacred texts are highly figurative, and this must be taken into account.
  • Other sacred texts:
  • Sacred texts themselves may be used to interpret other sacred texts.
  • Meanings of words
  • Meanings of words change over time. The original meaning of the words should be applied I the interpretation of sacred text.
    NOTE: Any THREE of the above may be credited.. (12)


  • The Vedas originated from Ancient India.
  • The Vedas form part of the main scriptural sources for Hindus.
  • Many Hindus believe that the Vedas were not actually written by anyone, including Ishvara.
  • Historians estimate that they were written down between 2500 and 500 BCE.
  • The Vedas were compiled by the great sage or wise man, Krishna Dwipayana.
  • The goal was to put together a standardised version of Hindu teaching for all Hindu followers.
  • Krishna Dwipayana gathered together all the oral teachings passed on by the Rishis and by the teachers and students.
  • He compiled them into four standard collections or books: the Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and the Atharaveda.
    NOTE: Other relevant responses must be credited.


  • Muslims believe that Allah revealed His final message for humanity to the Prophet Muhammad through the archangel Gabriel.
  • The Prophet could not read or write, so he shared the revelations with his followers orally.
  • The followers of Muhammad wrote the revelations down.
  • The text that contains all these revelations became known as the Qur'an.
  • The Qur'an is thus regarded as the Word of God.
  • The Qur'an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad over a period of 23 years.
  • Just before he died, the Prophet had recited the entire Qur'an from memory.
  • The Word of God was revealed to the Prophet in Arabic and many Muslims believe that the Qur'an cannot be translated without losing some of its meaning.
  • The other sacred texts in Islam are the books of Hadith.
  • These are compilations of the teachings and practices of the Prophet.
  • The hadith elaborate on Quranic injunctions, and serve as a practical guide for Muslims.
  • The most widely recognised compilation of Hadith is 'Bukhari'. (14)



  • Many Buddhists argue that Darwin's theory of evolution and Buddhism are in agreement.
  • However, Buddhism does not have an account for creation like Darwin's theory.
  • Buddhists do not mind what scientists say about how the universe and people came into being.
  • They do, however, attach special significance to human existence.
  • Darwin does not. He sees humans as being related to primates.
  • Buddhists believe that all life involves constant transformation and evolution.
  • This is in line with Darwin's theory.
  • Buddhists believed in evolution long before Western scientists did.
  • Buddhists believe in the continuity of all living beings. Darwin speaks of the inter-relatedness of living things.
  • Therefore, Buddhists have no problem with the idea that human beings may have evolved from more primitive forms.
    NOTE: Other relevant responses must be credited.
    If the candidate has discussed only ONE approach, a maximum of EIGHT marks may be awarded. (14)


  • The creator is a male Supreme Being, but the Big Bang Theory does not acknowledge any divine being.
  • At first only the Creator existed, and He then made the universe, simply by His command. There was no Big Bang.
  • The universe is separate from the Creator.
  • He created the universe in a space of six days as part of His divine plan for humanity.
  • On the sixth day He created Adam and Eve, and blessed them to multiply and fill the earth.
  • This differs from the scientific view which holds that the universe came into existence in an instant.
  • The book of Genesis, states that the universe was created through the power of His word. The universe did not happen by chance, as science claims.
  • The universe was created perfect, including human beings. There was neither explosion nor evolution of different species.
  • God also created the animals and other creatures.
  • At the end of time, the universe that we see will be replaced by something perfect after a Judgement Day.
  • The ultimate destiny of the universe is a matter of much scientific debate.
  • Some religious persons may accept the Big Bang Theory, owing to a more liberal /figurative interpretation of sacred texts.
    NOTE: Other relevant responses must be credited. (14)

4.2 EXAMPLE 1:

  • This term was first used by a philosopher called TH Huxley in 1869.
  • At this time, Darwin's theory of human evolution challenged the idea of a supreme Creator.
  • Agnostics believe that it is not possible to either prove or disprove the existence of God or a supernatural being.
  • Agnosticism comes from Greek, 'a', meaning 'without' and 'gnosis' meaning 'knowledge'.
  • This refers to uncertainty about God-knowledge.
  • Agnostics are sceptical of religious teachings.
  • They reject religious doctrine, especially religions that claim they have divine knowledge.


  • Atheists reject the belief that divine or supernatural powers exist.
  • There are different degrees of atheism.
  • Soft or neutral atheists do not actively reject the existence of a supernatural being.
  • Strong or positive atheists believe there is evidence to support their atheistic views.
  • In some cases soft atheists reject both theism and strong atheism.
  • This is because they feel both world views depend on proof to support their claims.
  • Atheists often turn to science to explain the nature of the universe rather than relying on faith. (12)


  • Secularism refers to a separation of power between the state and religion.
  • It arose out of religious wars in 16th century Europe.
  • Urbanisation, industrialisation and rationalism have all weakened religious institutions.
  • The belief that human intellect is enough to govern society is popular (humanism) and gives popularity to secularism.
  • This affected the society as well as an individual.
  • Secularism promoted a sense of self-development and independent thinking in modern society.
  • Recent advances (e.g. cloning, genetically modified organisms) in scientific thinking also contribute, as they question religious teachings.
  • This has contributed to a decline in religious influence.
  • The areas of health, education, welfare, economy and law are no longer dependent on religious values, but rely on scientific evidence and human intellect. (10)


Myanmar (2)

  • Myanmar has a history of persecution of Muslims, who form a small minority in the country.
  • The vast majority of the people are Buddhist.
  • The government is strongly influenced by Buddhist monks.
  • The largest group of Muslims in the country are the Rohingya.
  • They have their own language and culture.
  • They claim to be descendants of Arab traders and other groups who have lived in the region for generations.
  • The Buddhist government has denied the Rohingya citizenship.
  • The Rohingya were also excluded from a 2014 census, the government thus refusing to recognise them as a separate people.
  • In the last few years, before the military onslaught, thousands of Rohingya were fleeing Myanmar.
  • They were leaving because of communal violence and abuses by security forces.
  • In August 2017, Rohingya militants attacked about 30 police stations, in retaliation for abuses by the police.
  • In response, troops, accompanied by Buddhist mobs, started an all-out persecution of the Rohingya.
  • At least 288 Rohingya villages were burned down, hundreds were massacred, women and children were raped.
  • The majority of refugees are in UNHCR camps in Bangladesh.
    NOTE: Other relevant responses must be credited. (16)


  • Amnesty International and the UNHCR are continuing their investigations into the atrocities.
  • International pressure is being exerted on Myanmar (e.g. protests in Pakistan, India, Thailand, Indonesia, and Bangladesh).
  • However, in the US Security Council, China, Russia and the US have resisted full sanctions against the Myanmar government.
  • Bangladesh is negotiating the return of refugees, but the Rohingya will only return when their citizenship rights are guaranteed.
  • The Myanmar government is being charged with genocide, in the International Court of Justice (lawsuit by The Gambia).
  • Officials of the Myanmar government are being charged with gross human rights abuse. This matter is before the International Criminal Court (ICC).
  • Countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, and The Gambia have taken in huge numbers of refugees.
  • Humanitarian assistance from the UNHCR is being increased to these countries.
    NOTE: Other relevant responses must be credited.(8)


  • The Rohingya is an ethnic minority group that also has the identity of its religion, which is Sunni Islam
  • Myanmar itself is predominantly a Buddhist state.
  • Myanmar has a long history of violence against Muslims.
  • Religion plays a central role in this situation.
  • The attacks were led by Buddhists against the Rohingya.
  • The Buddhist majority are very supportive of the government's actions against the Rohingya. There are no religious protests condemning the atrocities.
  • While Buddhism teaches peace and love, the followers practice hatred and religious supremacy. This is largely encouraged by the monks.
  • Pope Francis also visited Myanmar, but did not criticise the government for its gross human rights violations.
    NOTE: Other relevant responses must be credited. (14)

Israel-Palestine (2)

  • The on-going conflict started with the establishment of Israel in 1948.
  • Hard-lined Israelis and Zionists claim that, according to their scripture, Palestine rightfully belongs to the Jews.
  • This claim is rejected by Palestinians, as well as many Jewish organisations, including some Orthodox Jews.
  • The land of Israel is sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims.
  • The al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem is Islam's third holiest site.
  • Jerusalem is also sacred to Christians, as it is where Christ was crucified.
  • Jews regard Jerusalem as the location of the Temple Mount/Temple of Solomon.
  • All these sites existed long before the creation of the state of Israel, and were occupied by various tribes throughout history.
  • Jews and Palestinians are fighting for the control over land. and resources.
    NOTE: Other relevant responses must be credited. (16)


  • Numerous UN resolutions have been passed condemning this occupation.
  • However, Israel continues to defy UN resolutions and is building more settlements on Palestinian land.
  • The US has constantly vetoed any UN resolution condemning Israel's occupation of Palestinian land.
  • There are sporadic attacks on Palestinians, as well as on Jews.
  • The American president, Donald Trump, in 2019 declared that America recognises Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel.
  • That has stirred up the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians.
  • Most of the world does not accept Trump's declaration.
  • In September 2020, the US brokered a peace deal with some Arab states (such as Bahrain and UAE) and Israel, whereby Israel agreed not to build new settlements on Palestinian land.
  • In return, Israel will get diplomatic recognition from these Arab states.
  • This undermines the boycott of Israel, and weakens the Palestinian cause. This has further escalated violence.
  • Thousands of Palestinian refugees all over the world still wait to return to their land (right of return).
    NOTE: Other relevant responses must be credited. (8)


  • The region comprises Muslims and Christians who live in Palestine, and Jews who live in Israel.
  • However, religion does not play a major role in this conflict.
  • The conflict is over the illegal occupation of Palestinian land. (several UN resolutions criticize Israeli occupation).
  • Israel keeps strict control over access to Muslim and Christian holy sites.
  • This does lead to heightened religious tensions.
  • Religion is used by zealots as an excuse for the conflict.
  • There is no attempt by any side to convert people to their faith.
  • The continuous occupation of Palestinian land by Jews (Jewish settlers) is a major factor in the conflict.
  • The building of illegal settlements on this land is also a major factor.
  • Muslim communities all over the world support the Palestinian cause.
  • Even the Orthodox Church has mediated, but to no avail.
    NOTE: Other relevant responses must be credited. (14)


  • Iraq is an oil-rich country, whose population comprises Kurdish Muslims in the north, Sunni Muslims in the centre, and Shia Muslims in the south.
  • The Kurds (PKK) have been fighting for their own homeland, both with Iraq and with Turkey.
  • Politically, the Sunni Muslims are aligned with Saudi Arabia.
  • The Shia, in turn, are strongly influenced by Iran.
  • While Saddam Hussein was in power in Iraq, he led a secular government, and largely maintained political stability and religious tolerance in the country. He is, however, also accused of atrocities against the Shia and the Kurds.
  • The 2003 US invasion of Iraq resulted in the ousting of Saddam Hussein.
  • This resulted in political turmoil and the appointment of a corrupt government.
  • Tribal and religious differences resurfaced.
  • An extreme Sunni sect developed, known as ISIL/ISIS, who committed terrible atrocities against both Muslims and non-Muslims.
  • Iraq is still embroiled in sectarian wars and corruption.


  • Northern Ireland is constitutionally part of the United Kingdom.
  • Its population is largely Catholic, while Britain is Protestant.
  • For decades, the Catholics of Northern Ireland have fought for political independence from the UK and for union with the Republic of Ireland.
  • Protestants in Northern Ireland have resisted.
  • This has resulted in a long and bloody civil war between the Catholics (IRA) and the Protestants, supported by the British military.
  • Although peace treaties were signed, sectarian violence still erupts from time to time.
    NOTE: Other relevant responses must be credited. (10)

TOTAL: 150

Last modified on Wednesday, 02 March 2022 07:02