Bishop of Leeds asks Government about security of Christians, freedom of religion and belief

On 4th, 5th and 6th February 202o the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, received written answers, to questions on freedom of religion and belief.

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: HL750 Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to negotiate a United Nations Security Council Resolution calling on all governments in the Middle East and North Africa region to (1) ensure the protection and security of Christians, and other faith minorities, (2) facilitate the establishment of security and protection arrangements for Christians, and other faith minorities, within the legal and governance structures, and (3) permit UN observers to monitor the protection and security arrangements for Christians and other faith minorities, in each of those countries.

Bishop of St Albans raises food security and scarcity in areas affected by locusts in East Africa

On 4th February 2020 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a question he had tabled to Government on food security and scarcity in areas affected by locusts in East Africa:

East Africa: Locusts

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of (1) food security, and (2) food scarcity, in areas affected by locusts in East Africa.

The Minister of State, Department for International Development (Baroness Sugg) (Con): My Lords, we are deeply concerned about the devastating locust outbreak in east Africa. It is destroying crops, livelihoods and essential food supplies. Millions of people already face food insecurity and acute malnutrition caused by humanitarian disasters in the region, and more are displaced by conflict. An outbreak exacerbates these challenges. Anticipatory action is needed to reduce the risks to the upcoming agricultural seasons; UK aid is supporting the UN in controlling the outbreak. We are monitoring the situation closely and stand ready to help further.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I thank the noble Baroness for her reply. It is perhaps appropriate that a Member on these Benches is raising issues about plagues of locusts, but a humanitarian crisis is unravelling in front of us. In some parts of Ethiopia, 90% of the crops have already gone and 20 million people face no food. Last Thursday, the UN said that we need $76 million now to begin to address the problems. What are Her Majesty’s Government doing to ensure immediate food aid if it is required and, in the longer term, that there is seed for next year’s crops so that people have security?

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Bishop of Durham asks Government about funding for education of girls in Burundi and countries torn by conflict

Durham040219On 3rd September 2019 the Leader of the Lords, Baroness Evans of Bowes Park, repeated a Government Statement about the G7 summit in Biarritz. The Bishop of Durham asked a follow-up question about girls’ education in Burundi:

Lord Bishop of Durham: I return to the question of girls’ education in the Statement. As it happens, last week I was visiting the tiny east African country of Burundi, and one of the most impressive pieces of work that I saw there was with adult women who had not had education when they were girls and who have now gone through literacy and financial and business training and were running small businesses in their local rural communities. I welcome the fact that more money is being put into the education of girls and of children in countries torn by conflict, because Burundi is one such. Will the Minister explain a little more about how that might be put into practice, particularly in a nation such as Burundi—and there are others—where at the moment there are restrictions on the Foreign Office giving it money because of its internal conflict, and will she promise that DfID will be able to put money into such countries through this kind of system?

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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.

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Bishop of St Albans asks if DfID will work with churches on relief effort following Cyclone Idai

On 19th March 2019 Lord Elton asked the Government “what response the UK is making to help address the impact of Cyclone Idai in parts of southern Africa”. The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, such is the devastation that reports are only slowly coming in from some of the most damaged areas. We are hearing reports from a number of the Anglican dioceses in different parts of the Communion and from a number of bishops, including Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, who has launched an appeal and is mobilising people on the ground. Will the Minister assure us that DfID will work closely with those networks and organisations on the ground, such as the dioceses and the Christian communities which have the networks in place and know what is going on locally? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks if DfID will work with churches on relief effort following Cyclone Idai”

Bishop of Durham asks about Burundi Constitutional Referendum

On 5th June 2018, the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received a response to a written question about the UK Government’s representations to the government of Burundi: 

The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Burundi following the Constitutional Referendum there on 17 May. Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks about Burundi Constitutional Referendum”

Bishop of Southwark asks Government about Chinese investments in Africa

southwark-20feb17On 25th April 2017, Lord Oates asked Her Majesty’s Government “what measures they intend to take to promote United Kingdom–Africa trade and development co-operation in the transitional and post-Brexit periods.” The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a supplementary question:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: The Minister may know that I am a regular visitor to Zimbabwe, where my diocese has links with four of the five Anglican dioceses there. How do Her Majesty’s Government propose to respond to the preponderance of Chinese investment both there and in other African nations, both in infrastructure and major economic undertakings? Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark asks Government about Chinese investments in Africa”