Bishop of St Albans asks Government about treatment of Uyghur people in China

St Albans 2On 7th January 2020 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer from Government,  about racial discrimination and the Uyghur people:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: HL72 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the statement delivered by the UK Permanent Representative to the UN at the Third Committee session on the Committee for the elimination of racial discrimination and the conclusions of the United Nations on the treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjang. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about treatment of Uyghur people in China”

Bishop of Leeds responds to Queen’s Speech on inter-connectedness in foreign policy

On 7th January 2020 the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, opened the second day of debate on the Queen’s Speech, on the subjects of culture, language and foreign affairs:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, following the last debate on Iran, I think it is wise to take a step back from the detail, to which we shall shortly return, to consider culture and principle.

Twenty-twenty vision is something that, if claimed, proves only that the claimant is deluded. However, leaving fantasists to one side for a moment, we might take some wisdom from the late former Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Helmut Schmidt. At the age of 91, he wrote a book called Ausser Dienst, or “out of office”, in which he advises young Germans considering a career in politics not to do so unless they speak at least two foreign languages to a competent degree. His reason? You can only understand your own culture if you look at it through the eyes of another culture, and to do that you need language; some things cannot be translated.

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Bishop of Leeds asks Government to remember Iran’s rich cultural history

Leeds0518On 7th January 2020  Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, repeated a Government statement on Middle East security. The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, would the Minister agree that the “Thought for the Day” by the Bishop of Loughborough this morning on BBC Radio 4, available on the Sounds app, shone an important light on this matter? She came to this country as an Iranian refugee following the murder of her brother, and what she was pointing to was that in the context of the immediate crisis we must not lose sight of the fact that Iran has a very rich and long history as a seat of civilisation, and that we should not tar the entire country and culture with one brush.

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Bishop of St Albans asks about welfare of Rohingya people in Bangladesh

St Albans 2On 5th November 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer from the Government, in reply to his question about the Rohingya people:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: HL531 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the quality of the Rohingya people’s lives in Bangladesh.

Baroness Sugg: A June 2019 study by the Overseas Development Institute found that refugees felt that their lives would first and foremost be improved through education, then better living conditions, then the ability to support themselves. The study also describes the Rohingya people’s immediate concerns affecting their quality of life, including shelter conditions, lack of firewood or stoves, issues with healthcare, water, sanitation and hygiene and protection support, inadequate food and insufficient supplies.

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Bishop of St Albans asks about civil and human rights of Rohingya and Chin people in Myanmar

St Albans 2On 4th November 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received written answers from the Government, in reply to two questions about persecuted people in Myanmar:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: (i) HL530 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of whether the Rohingya people’s civil and human rights are being upheld in Myanmar.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: (ii) HL532 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports of attacks against Chin people in Myanmar.

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Bishop of Durham asks Government about Saudi-brokered deal in Yemen

19.01.07 durhamOn 30th October 2019 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a question about the situation in Yemen, on behalf of the Bishop of St Albans, who was unable to attend:

Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the deal brokered by the government of Saudi Arabia in Yemen and the prospects for lasting peace there.

Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question standing in the name of the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of St Albans, who apologises for the fact that he cannot be in his place today.

The Earl of Courtown (Con): My Lords, the UK welcomes signs of progress through the Saudi-led talks to bring together the Government of Yemen and the Southern Transitional Council to reach a peaceful settlement following the clashes in Aden in August. This has further demonstrated the need for inclusive political talks through the UN-led peace process. The UK urges all parties to engage constructively with the UN special envoy Martin Griffiths to broker a sustainable peace for all of Yemen.

Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I thank the Minister for his response and I share his support for any initiative that brings peace to Yemen, but this deal brokered by the KSA brings only limited opportunities for a peaceful future in the region. After four years and seven months, almost 100,000 people have died—84,000 children from starvation, and 2,500 from cholera. What pressure are Her Majesty’s Government putting on Saudi and Emirati opposites to secure an immediate cessation to the wider war in Yemen?

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The Bishop of Salisbury speaks about the political situation in Hong Kong and the UK’s present and historic commitment to the people of Hong Kong

Salisbury231018On the 24th October 2019 Lord Alton hosted a debate in the House of Lords about the current political situation in Hong Kong. The Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam spoke in the debate about the church in Hong Kong, the importance of identity and the need to stand alongside those to whom we have not just a historic but a present commitment, to encourage the keeping of treaties and international law, and the finding of a peaceful resolution to the present conflicts.
Lord Ahmad responded for the Government and extracts of his remarks and a link to the whole debate can be found below.

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