Seems like a reasonable topic to discuss, given that this is a discussion on Atheist nexus.
Most cultures are infused with religious belief. Religion is a repository of cultural values, influences (even drives) politics, and gives individuals justification for their beliefs.
In my personal experience, I was taught in church, that there were distinct races, and that it was God's plan to keep those races separate. Segregation was God's command. I was also taught that God loves all children regardless of color. One couple was literally banned from the church due to their inter-racial relationship. In such a climate, freethought was a route to a more humanistic approach to life. I realize that my history is past history, and probably most churches today are fully inclusive - but since Im not a churchgoer, maybe that is wishful thinking.
There are claims that Churches promoted abolition of slavery, but it appears that there were freethinkers at the forefront, while the churches used the bible to justify the practice. Similarly for civil rights, freethinking has been seen at the forefront, and churches on both sides.
I'm wondering what insights you can share, when considering many factors. Is religion mostly harmful, or mostly beneficial, or a wash, when it comes to equality? I think that most atheists (at least humanists) would be supportive of equality, but I have no evidence for that - what do you think? Do other religions (not christian) have a different take on equality?