Bishop of Coventry asks Government about freedom of religion and belief and use of the death penalty across the Commonwealth

On Wednesday 15th November 2017 the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received written answers to five questions about freedom of religion and belief and use of the death penalty across the Commonwealth: 

The Lord Bishop of Coventry:

(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the number of Commonwealth countries that retain apostasy laws.

(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the number of Commonwealth countries that retain some form of blasphemy law.

(iii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the number of Commonwealth countries that retain the death penalty.

(iv) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their strategy for protecting freedom of religion or belief across the Commonwealth.

(v) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what percentage of funds currently allocated under the Magna Carta Fund aim to protect or strengthen freedom of religion or belief across the Commonwealth. Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry asks Government about freedom of religion and belief and use of the death penalty across the Commonwealth”

Bishop of Coventry questions Government about support for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Bp Coventry May 2015

On the 26th October the House of Lords debated a motion from Baroness Helic, “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they have taken to support the Rohingya refugees currently displaced in Bangladesh.” The Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth took part in the debate highlighting the need for a greater action by the international community to support agents of compassion and to address the underlying causes of the crisis. Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry questions Government about support for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh”

Bishop of Coventry asks about impact on community relations of way terrorist activities are reported

On 25th October 2017 Baroness Afshar asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of the impact of official announcements relating to terrorism focussing on the perpetrator’s creed rather than the crime committed; and whether any such assessment has informed their practice in such cases.”

The Lord Bishop of Coventry: My Lords, the difficulty for those of us on the ground, Muslim and Christian, who are trying to work at good community relations is that reportage of these crimes against humanity in the media can fuel hate crime against Muslim people and destroy the trust that we are trying to build in our communities. Does the Minister agree that we need to develop language that learns some lessons from the man who witnessed the Leytonstone tube attack in 2015, who said: “You ain’t no Muslim, bruv”—language that does not incriminate the entire Muslim community, despite their rejection of violent terrorists as not true Muslims—so that we can all stand together under the same banner of peace? Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry asks about impact on community relations of way terrorist activities are reported”

Bishop of Coventry asks about civilian deaths and cost of military action in Iraq

On 11th and 12th October 2017 Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry, received written answers from the Government to questions about civilian casualties and the financial cost of armed conflict in Iraq:

The Lord Bishop of Coventry:
 (i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what estimate they have made of the cost of the UK’s participation in the US led coalition air strikes in support of the liberation of Mosul.
(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they intend to take to evaluate the deployment of airpower in heavily populated areas following the liberation of Mosul.
(iii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to investigate unintended civilian casualties arising from UK participation in the US led coalition airstrikes to liberate Mosul; and if so, what resources they (1) have committed, and (2) intend to commit, to that investigation.
(iv) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their estimate of the number of civilians killed during the liberation of Mosul.

Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry asks about civilian deaths and cost of military action in Iraq”

Bishop of Coventry asks about human rights, development aid and sanctions towards the military in Burma

Between 18th-25th September 2017 the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received answers to five questions about Burma, on human rights violations, UK humanitarian aid and sanctions against the Burmese military:

The Lord Bishop of Coventry:

(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what humanitarian assistance they are providing to help alleviate the emerging humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State in Burma.

(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to the suspension of military assistance, including training, for the Burmese army.

(iii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to the introduction of financial and travel sanctions against senior Burmese military officials following the Burmese military’s recent offensive in Rakhine State.

(iv) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Burma to engage with existing United Nations Human Rights Council mechanisms and address reports of severe human rights violations in Rakhine State.

(v) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assistance and support they are providing the government of Burma and other parties in Burma to de-escalate the crisis in Rakhine State.

Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry asks about human rights, development aid and sanctions towards the military in Burma”

Second Church Estates Commissioner champions Coventry bid to be 2021 City of Culture

On 5th September 2017, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Dame Caroline Spelman took part in a Westminster Hall debate on Coventry’s bid to be the 2021 City of Culture, citing the impact of the Cathedral in the life of the city.

Dame Caroline Spelman (Meriden) (Con): I congratulate the hon. Member for Coventry South (Mr Cunningham) on securing this debate. It is exciting for all of us to know that Coventry has made the shortlist and is now in a five-way race to win this title. I declare my interest in that part of my constituency is covered by the diocese of Coventry, so I have many reasons to visit the city on a regular basis.

Continue reading “Second Church Estates Commissioner champions Coventry bid to be 2021 City of Culture”

Bishop of Coventry asks Government about criminalisation by Russia of worship by Jehovah’s Witnesses

On 19th July 2017 the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received a written answer to a question about the Russian Supreme Court ruling on Jehovah’s Witnesses:

The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the decision by the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation to ban the Jehovah’s Witnesses on the grounds that the group is considered to be an extremist organisation. Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry asks Government about criminalisation by Russia of worship by Jehovah’s Witnesses”