Bishop of Coventry asks Government about children in Iraq, terrorism in Sri Lanka and religious freedom in Pakistan

On the 23 May 2019 the Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received three written answers from Government to questions he had asked on (i) children in Iraq, (ii) terrorism in Sri Lanka and (iii) religious freedom in Pakistan.
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The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports that some 45,000 children in Iraqi displacement camps are without civil ID documentation; and what representations they intend to make to the government of Iraq to ensure that those children are not excluded from Iraqi citizenship and society in the future. HL15663 Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry asks Government about children in Iraq, terrorism in Sri Lanka and religious freedom in Pakistan”

Bishop of Winchester on importance of education, religion and voluntary agencies in UK foreign policy

On 21st May 2019 the House of Lords debated a Motion from Lord Howell of Guildford ,”That this House takes note of the Report from the International Relations Committee UK foreign policy in a shifting world order (5th Report, HL Paper 250).” The Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, spoke in the debate:

Continue reading “Bishop of Winchester on importance of education, religion and voluntary agencies in UK foreign policy”

Bishop of Winchester asks Government about security for health and aid workers responding to Ebola outbreak in DRC

On 20th May 2019 a Government statement on the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,  was repeated in the House of Lords. The Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Winchester: My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness for repeating the Statement from the other place. My diocese is linked directly with the Congo and I have had a relationship with the current Bishop of North Kivu, Bishop Isesomo, for nearly 20 years.

I see the outbreak of Ebola as the presenting issue for what is a community breakdown. Over the past 25 years, particularly since the 1990s, we have seen a form of alternative governance which makes it very hard for any kind of intervention to work that does not tackle the question of security. Continue reading “Bishop of Winchester asks Government about security for health and aid workers responding to Ebola outbreak in DRC”

Church Commissioner Questions: Persecuted Christians Review, Sri Lanka attacks, Cathedral Fire Safety

On 9th May 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered questions from MPs on the Bishop of Truro’s review into persecuted Christians overseas, the attacks on Christian worshipers in Sri Lanka, and fire safety in cathedrals. The exchanges follow:CCQs 9519 Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions: Persecuted Christians Review, Sri Lanka attacks, Cathedral Fire Safety”

Bishop of Leeds responds to Government statement on Sri Lanka

On 24th April 2019 Baroness Goldie repeated a Statement  by the Foreign Secretary on Sri Lanka. The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, responded to the statement: 

18.12.05 Leeds Brexit deal debateThe Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, my diocese, the diocese of Leeds, has had a link with Sri Lanka for nearly 40 years and I am in daily contact with the church out there. I urge the Minister and the Foreign Office to take seriously the difference between ethnic and religious strife, because we cannot always draw a straight line from people being of different religious practice or conviction to particular actions. The civil war, for example, was much more complex than is sometimes represented outside Sri Lanka. What has happened in the last few days is very different; it is international. We need to understand more about the impact on the Muslim community in Sri Lanka, as it has not been a pleasant experience for them. It is not quite as simple as we sometimes think, and I would urge caution in the way that we represent the current issue. Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds responds to Government statement on Sri Lanka”

Bishops ask Government about conflict in Yemen and use of British weaponry

On 10th April 2019 the Bishops of Coventry and St Albans received written answers to questions on the war in Yemen: efforts to bring the conflict to an end, and the use of weapons made or sold by British companies –

The Lord Bishop of Coventry: (HL14938) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to facilitate an end to the war in Yemen.

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Bishop of St Albans asks Government about freedom of religion in China

On 4th April 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a question he had tabled on religious freedom in China. The exchanges, and the follow-up questions from other Members, are below:

China: Religious Freedom

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their current assessment of freedom of religion in China.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon) (Con): My Lords, there are several recognised religions in China, with tens of millions of practising Christians, Muslims and Buddhists, among others. However, we are deeply concerned about developing restrictions on freedom of religion or belief in China, including reports that authorities are tightening control over how certain religions are practised. At the United Nations Human Rights Council last month, I raised directly our concerns about restrictions on freedom of religion or belief in China, including on Muslims and Christians in Xinjiang.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I thank the Minister for his reply. There are deeply worrying reports coming out of China, not least about persecuting the Christian churches there—an ancient Christian church there was founded in the 7th century. Will he comment particularly on the developing situation concerning Uighur Muslims and the development of the network of re-education camps in Xinjiang province? What representations have Her Majesty’s Government made and what are they planning to do?

Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about freedom of religion in China”