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27 October 2014

Bible resource to help tackle economic injustice

Bible resource to help tackle economic injustice

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 looked into.

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, deputy chief executive of All We Can, 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 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," she said.

The six studies include: why debts should sometimes not be paid, how inequality causes financial crises, how rich people are made poor, gender inequality and who really owes who.

Each study comes with possible introductory activities, a Bible reading and information on its context and aspects of injustice in the world today to which the reading could relate, and possible questions to prompt group discussions.