On 30th March 2022 the Bishop of Worcester asked a question in support of returning ancient sacred tabots held in the British Museum to Ethiopia.
The Lord Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, apart from the way in which these artefacts were obtained, and the responsibility of the British Museum and its independence, I wonder whether the Minister would agree that what sets these artefacts apart, as he has intimated, from any others in the British Museum and other museums across our land, is that they are sacred. As such, they relate to a living faith—the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Whereas these tabots mean very little to anyone here except as stones of limited historical value, and no one is able to see them anyway, they are of profound religious significance in Ethiopia. Would not the Minister agree that they should therefore be returned to those who understand them to be holy and will cherish them as such?
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24th May 2021
The Bishop of Southwark: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the statement by Patriarch Abuna Mathias in April (1) that the government of Ethiopia and its allies are committing genocide in Tigray, and (2) that rape is being used as a weapon of war in that region.
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On 8th March the Bishop of Coventry received a written answer to a question on humanitarian aid delivery in Ethiopia:
The Lord Bishop of Coventry
: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they have taken to ensure that aid workers are permitted (1) to deliver humanitarian aid, and (2) to assess the needs of the population, in Ethiopia. [HL13385]
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On 18th January 2021 in the House of Lords the Bishop of Bristol asked a question about mental health, the Bishop of Coventry asked about Armenian heritage.
Meanwhile the Bishop of St Albans and the Archbishop of York received written answers to questions on gambling-related harm and Ethiopia.
Full text below.
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In the House of Lords on 14th January 2021 the Bishop of St Albans received written answers to questions on vaccines for developing countries and the situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia while the Bishop of Durham received answers to questions on the recent updated report by the Child Poverty Action Group and the Church of England on Poverty in the pandemic.
Meanwhile in the Chamber, the Bishop of Birmingham raised the issue of devolution in England with the Government during Lord Young’s Oral question about the formation of a Constitution, Democracy and Human Rights Commission. Text below:
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On 7th December the Bishop of St Albans received written answers to questions on Ethiopia, armed conflict and food shortages:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to African members of the Commonwealth to encourage them to ensure a peaceful solution to the conflict in Tigray. [HL10708]
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On 2nd December 2020 the Bishop of St Albans asked a question in the Lords during exchanges on a question from Lord Alton about the announcement by the Ethiopian Government on 30 November about military operations in the northern Tigray region:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans [V]:
Prior to the conflict, Tigray was a safe haven for Eritrean refugees afraid to return home because of fear of persecution. With Eritrea’s rumoured involvement in the conflict against the TPLF, what assessment have Her Majesty’s Government made of the validity of claims that the Eritrean military are forcing refugees into trucks and abducting them back to Eritrea?
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