17 October 2014 - A new publication from the Jubilee Debt Campaign, compiled with the assistance of Christian Aid and All We Can: Methodist Relief and Development, is helping churches relate real world economic problems to biblical teachings.
Entitled ‘Jubilee economics: Biblical teaching and financial crisis’, the set of six bible studies analyses economic issues facing people in the UK and across the world from a Biblical perspective.
Jesus’ teachings on hoarding wealth are examined in relation to inequality and financial crisis; old and new testament teaching on cancelling debts are looked at in relation to high levels of individual and government debt across the world; and the way tax policies can increase inequality and injustice are examined.
Jubilee Debt Campaign spokesman Tim Jones said: “The verb Jesus is most often quoted as using, aphiemi, means to ‘cancel a debt’. Challenging economic injustice is central to the message of the gospels. These studies will help churches discuss how faith relates to economic decisions, and what Christians can do to help build a fairer world.”
Simeon Mitchell, All We Can Deputy Chief Executive said: “All We Can is delighted to have supported the production of this valuable resource. The radical economics of the Bible, from jubilee to Jesus, challenge us to think hard about contemporary approaches to power and money. Christians and churches have been at the forefront of the movement to cancel unjust debts, and we hope that this booklet will encourage further study, reflection and action to help prevent a new debt crisis.”
Christian Aid’s Senior Theology Advisor, Dr Susan Durber, said: “It is wonderful how the wisdom of the scriptures, when read again in the context of contemporary dilemmas and struggles, speaks as powerfully as ever and shines like new.
“There are many now in our world who live in contexts like the one in which Jesus spoke, where destitution was acute and hope often rare. These studies will help all of us discover what could be done and they will help us hear the scriptural voice of hope that the ways of God will one day be lived on earth.”
The six studies cover: ‘Good news for the poor’: Why debts should sometimes not be paid; ‘Debt jubilees’: What causes positive changes to happen; ‘Hoarding wealth’: How inequality causes financial crises; ‘Tax injustice’: How rich people are made poor, ‘Breaking the mould’: Gender inequality; and ‘Forgive us our debts’ Who really owes who?
The bible studies can be used either by individuals or discussion groups. Each study comes with possible introductory activities; a bible reading and information on its context; information on aspects of injustice in the world today to which the reading could relate; and possible questions to prompt group discussions.
Copies of the booklet are available for free by contacting the Jubilee Debt Campaign on 0207 324 4722 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information contact Joe Ware email@example.com. 24 hour Christian Aid press duty phone – 07850 242950.
Notes to editors:
1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 50 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk
2. All We Can helps people in the world’s poorest communities to become all that they can, by investing in partnerships that improve quality of life and create positive, long-term change for individuals, families and nations. www.allwecan.org.uk
3. The Jubilee Debt Campaign is part of a global movement demanding freedom from the slavery of unjust debts and a new financial system that puts people first. www.jubileedebt.org.uk