Faith leaders to tell MPs that world needs new financial system

Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh leaders will urge MPs to support a radical overhaul of the financial system in a meeting in Parliament on Tuesday 5 February.

They will back debt audits across Europe, debt cancellation for the most indebted countries, more progressive taxation and an end to harmful lending.

The Anglican Bishop of Bath and Wells, Peter Price, will be among those making the call, along with the President of the Methodist Conference, Mark Wakelin.

They will be joined by Rabbi Sybil Sheridan, Vice-Chair of the Reform Rabbinic Assembly and Bhai Sahib Ji, Chairman of the Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha. Nick Dearden of Jubilee Debt Campaign will also speak.

They will make the call in the same room in which Jubilee 2000 was launched just over fifteen years ago. The event will take place in the Jubilee Room in Parliament from 12.45 – 2.00pm on Tuesday 5 February. Media are invited to attend.

Over thirty MPs have said they will attend the meeting. It has been called by the Jubilee Debt Campaign, the successor organisation to Jubilee 2000. In its original, biblical sense a “jubilee” was a festival of economic justice, when debts were cancelled, slaves freed and the economy rebalanced.

The faith leaders’ call has already been backed by over 350 clergy and other faith leaders, who have signed a letter calling for a new ‘Jubilee for Justice’. They range from Roman Catholics, Baptists and Quakers to Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Zoroastrians.

Nick Dearden, Director of the Jubilee Debt Campaign, said:

“Fifteen years ago, people of many faiths and none united to call for a debt jubilee for the world’s poorest nations – not as an act of charity, but as a matter of justice. As a result of their efforts, $130bn of debt has been cancelled, leading to healthcare and education for millions of people. But the financial system has not been changed and countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America are still enslaved by debt, while a debt crisis has come to Europe.

“In Britain and around the world, the poorest people are paying the price for an unjust economic system which benefits the richest. Faith leaders are showing the way in calling for radical change and building a movement for economic justice.”



1.    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. It is the successor organisation of Jubilee 2000 in the UK.

2.    Media are welcome to attend the event in Parliament, which will take place in the Jubilee Room from 12.45 – 2.00pm on Tuesday 5 February 2012. It will be addressed by Rt Revd Peter Price (Bishop of Bath and Wells), Bhai Sahib Ji (Chairman of the Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha), the Revd Dr Mark Wakelin, (President of the Methodist Conference), Rabbi Sybil Sheridan (Vice-Chair of Rabbinic Assembly, Movement for Reform Judaism), and Nick Dearden (Director, Jubilee Debt Campaign). Please contact Symon Hill on 07920 037 719 for details.

3.    Over 350 faith leaders have signed a letter calling for a Jubilee for Justice and a radical overhaul of the financial system. The full text of the letter and the full list of signatories can be read at: http://staging.jubileedebt.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Faith-leaders-letter-final-version.pdf  In addition to the speakers at the event, signatories include over thirty Church of England bishops, seven Roman Catholic bishops, the President-Elect of the Baptist Union of Great Britain (Ernie Whalley), the Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church (Michael Jagessar), the former Director of the Evangelical Alliance (Joel Edwards), the President of the Muslim Association of Britain (Omer El-Hamdoon) and the Managing Director of the Hindu Council UK (Anil Bhanot).

4.    For more information, media are welcome to contact Symon Hill on 07920 037 719.


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