Church Commissioner written answers: Sri Lanka aid, Christian persecution in Africa

On 13th May 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered two written questions from Jim Shannon MP, on aid to Sri Lanka and on persecution of Christians in African countries:

Jim Shannon (Strangford): 252642 To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to tackle the persecution of Christians in African countries; and what steps the Church of England is taking with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to highlight the persecution of Christians in those countries.

Dame Caroline Spelman: The Church of England mission agencies are supporting partner churches and communities in Africa to help them address the challenges of inter-religious living. The submission by the Church of England and the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales to the Foreign Secretary’s independent review into persecuted Christians sets out recommendations as to the steps that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office can take to support Christian communities and other religious people whose right to freedom of religion or belief is being impinged. The submission from the Church of England can be read here: https://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/news/latest-news/anglicans-and-catholics-make-joint-submission-foreign-office-review-persecuted


Jim Shannon (Strangford): 252646 To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what discussions the Church of England has had with the Department for International Development on ensuring aid reaches people in Sri Lanka who need it most.

Dame Caroline Spelman: The Church of England has had no discussions with the Department for International Development on aid to Sri Lanka, but the Diocese of Leeds which has had a companion link with Sri Lanka for nearly 40 years, is in regular contact with the Anglican church of Sri Lanka, as to how best the Church can contribute to human flourishing in Sri Lanka.