Bishop of Durham asks about the welfare of older people and children in Rwanda

On 13th and 14th February 2020 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received written answers to questions about Rwanda and Tearfund’s report into older people:
The Lord Bishop of Durham:  HL1253 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the report by Tearfund Ageing in Rwanda, published on 25 January.

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Bishop of Southwark asks Government about Israel, Palestine

On 11th and 13th February 2020 the Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, received written answers to five questions, on Israel & Palestine.

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: HL1278  To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they had with the government of the United States about their proposal Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve the Lives of Palestinian and Israeli People prior to its publication on 28 January.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: The US Administration shared details of their proposals with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in advance. The Prime Minister discussed the United States’ proposals during a call with President Trump on 28 January and the Foreign Secretary has also spoken to Jared Kushner and Secretary of State Pompeo.

 


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Andrew Selous raises persecution of Christians in House of Commons debate

On 6th February 2020 the House of Commons debated a Government motion “That this House has considered the matter of the persecution of Christians.”. The Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, spoke in the debate. The full text of the debate can be seen on the Hansard website.

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Bishop of Southwark asks about freedom of religion and belief policy in international development

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Bishop of Leeds asks Government about security of Christians, freedom of religion and belief

On 4th, 5th and 6th February 202o the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, received written answers, to questions on freedom of religion and belief.

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: HL750 Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to negotiate a United Nations Security Council Resolution calling on all governments in the Middle East and North Africa region to (1) ensure the protection and security of Christians, and other faith minorities, (2) facilitate the establishment of security and protection arrangements for Christians, and other faith minorities, within the legal and governance structures, and (3) permit UN observers to monitor the protection and security arrangements for Christians and other faith minorities, in each of those countries.

Bishop of St Albans raises food security and scarcity in areas affected by locusts in East Africa

On 4th February 2020 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a question he had tabled to Government on food security and scarcity in areas affected by locusts in East Africa:

East Africa: Locusts

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of (1) food security, and (2) food scarcity, in areas affected by locusts in East Africa.

The Minister of State, Department for International Development (Baroness Sugg) (Con): My Lords, we are deeply concerned about the devastating locust outbreak in east Africa. It is destroying crops, livelihoods and essential food supplies. Millions of people already face food insecurity and acute malnutrition caused by humanitarian disasters in the region, and more are displaced by conflict. An outbreak exacerbates these challenges. Anticipatory action is needed to reduce the risks to the upcoming agricultural seasons; UK aid is supporting the UN in controlling the outbreak. We are monitoring the situation closely and stand ready to help further.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I thank the noble Baroness for her reply. It is perhaps appropriate that a Member on these Benches is raising issues about plagues of locusts, but a humanitarian crisis is unravelling in front of us. In some parts of Ethiopia, 90% of the crops have already gone and 20 million people face no food. Last Thursday, the UN said that we need $76 million now to begin to address the problems. What are Her Majesty’s Government doing to ensure immediate food aid if it is required and, in the longer term, that there is seed for next year’s crops so that people have security?

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Archbishop asks Government about help to build peace in South Sudan

On 29th January 2020 the Earl of Sandwich asked Her Majesty’s Government “what priority they give to Sudan and South Sudan among their foreign policy objectives.” The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, asked a follow up question:

The Archbishop of Canterbury: My Lords, the Minister will be aware of the meeting in the Vatican last April of religious and political leaders from South Sudan, including the President and leading rebel and opposition groups; and of the Pope’s announcement when we met last November that he intended to make a joint visit himself, with me and a former Moderator of the Church of Scotland, at the end of March if the transitional Government had been established by that time in Juba. The period for establishing that Government runs out towards the end of February. May we have assurance that with the whole thing in the balance—and given what we heard from the noble Baroness, Lady Cox—Her Majesty’s Government will apply carrot and stick vigorously, and give full attention over the next four weeks to enabling this new Government to happen solidly in Juba, including the presence of leading rebel members such as Riek Machar, to get a framework for peace? Continue reading “Archbishop asks Government about help to build peace in South Sudan”