Bishop of Coventry on peacebuilding and need to protect minority communities in Syria

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On 9th February 2017 the House of Lords debated a motion from Crossbench Peer Baroness Cox “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of recent developments in Syria.” The Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, spoke in the debate:

Coventry Moses RoomThe Lord Bishop of Coventry: My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness for securing this debate. My main reason for speaking is to draw your Lordships’ attention and, especially, Her Majesty’s Government, to a recent report by the World Council of Churches, The Protection Needs of Minorities in Syria and Iraq. It is a serious piece of field study that has gathered the first-hand views of some 4,000 people, over 2,000 of them Syrians from minority communities: Christians, Yazidis, Druze, Turkmen and many others. I was in Baghdad and Irbil last month as part of a World Council of Churches delegation to test the findings of the report with community leaders and members, as well as with UNAMI and locally based NGOs, and confirm the soundness of its recommendations. I have every reason to believe that the report’s analysis of the Syrian situation is as credible as we found its Iraqi analysis to be. Therefore I ask the Minister that the Government engage with this robust report. Continue reading

Bishop of Coventry asks Government about refusal of visas to Archbishops from Syria and Iraq

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13.10 Bishop of CoventryOn the 21st December 2016, the Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received answers to written questions concerning visa applications from Syria and Iraq and the refusal of visas to Archbishops.


The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have any plans to review why the Archbishop of Mosul, the Archbishop of St Matthews and the Archbishop of Homs and Hama were refused visas to travel to the UK from Iraq and Syria to attend the consecration of the Syriac Orthodox Cathedral in London. Continue reading

Bishop of Coventry asks Government about people displaced by conflict in Nigeria

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Bp Coventry May 2015On 22nd November 2016 Baroness Cox asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of the continuing intercommunal conflicts in the northern and Middle Belt states of Nigeria; and what assistance they are providing for those displaced by these conflicts.” The Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Coventry: My Lords, my diocese is linked to the Anglican diocese of Kaduna, so I know something from the first-hand testimony of the bishop of the effects of communal violence in the Middle Belt states of Nigeria. Some very good reconciliation work is being undertaken there, as we have heard, and it is helpful to hear the assurance of the Minister on DfID funding for such projects. Perhaps I may ask her a little more specifically whether the Government are able to exert any influence on the Nigerian Government to ensure the return of land to communities that have been forcibly displaced. Continue reading

Bishop of Coventry asks Government about death penalty and religious freedom in Saudi Arabia

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Bp Coventry May 2015On 29th July and 2nd August 2016 the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received written answers to questions of Government on capital punishment and religious freedom in Saudi Arabia:

The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Saudi Arabia about the use of the death penalty against
minors. [HL1354]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made this year to the government of Saudi Arabia regarding the use of beheading and crucifixion as criminal punishments. [HL1355]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the decision by the Specialised Criminal Court in Saudi Arabia to sentence Ali Mohammed Baqir Al-Nimr, Abdullah Al-Zaher and Dawood Al-Marhoon to death by crucifixion for seeking democratic reforms in that country. [HL1357] Continue reading

Bishop of Coventry asks Government about violence against Hindus in Pakistan

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Bp Coventry May 2015On 29th July 2016 the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received a written answer to a questions on violence against Hindus in Pakistan:

The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the current level of violence against Hindus in Pakistan.


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Bishop of Coventry asks Government about human rights and religious freedom in Bangladesh

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Bp Coventry May 2015On 29th July 2016 the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received written answers to two questions on human rights and religious freedom in Bangladesh:

The Lord Bishop of Coventry:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the human rights situation in Bangladesh, especially in relation to the right to freedom of religion or belief. [HL1247]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Bangladesh about human rights violations against Hindus and bringing to justice those responsible for the destruction of temples and other places of worship. [HL1248] Continue reading

Bishop of Coventry asks Government about Daesh, Iraq and international humanitarian law

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Bp Coventry May 2015On 22nd April 2016 the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received answers to three written questions of Government on the actions of Daesh and the Iraqi Government and international humanitarian law:

The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what conversations they have had with other members of the UN Security Council about referring the actions of Daesh against religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq to the International Criminal Court for further investigation. [HL7548] Continue reading