The Bishop of Guildford received the following written answers on 16th December 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Guildford asked His Majesty’s Government what support they provide to the Centre for Social Justice in Pakistan.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con): The UK is a long-term supporter of civil society in Pakistan, and we engage with the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) as part of our work on human rights. I conducted a roundtable discussion with human rights stakeholders – including Peter Jacobs, Executive Director of CSJ – on 15 October, discussing open societies and the work of Non-Government Organisations (NGOs). We continue to engage with the Government of Pakistan to ensure NGOs such as CSJ can operate effectively.
The Bishop of Guildford received the following written answer 5th November 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Guildford asked His Majesty’s Government what strategy they have, if any, for promoting freedom of religion or belief in Pakistan; and what discussions they have held with the government of Pakistan in pursuing any such strategy.
The Bishop of Guildford received the following written answer on 31st October 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Guildford asked His Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of China regarding recent reports that at least 10 leaders from unregistered Protestant churches were arrested and charged with fraud over normal church financial activities in 2021, including Zhang Chunlei, Yang Xiaoguang, and Hao Ming.
On 9th September 2022 the House of Lords met to hear tributes to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, whose death had been announced. The Bishop of Guildford paid tribute:
The Lord Bishop of Guildford: My Lords, I have been deeply moved by many of the contributions this afternoon and share all the sentiments that have been so eloquently expressed. It is a phrase used far too often, but yesterday was truly the end of an era—and a glorious era. Much has been spoken already of the Queen’s remarkable sense of service, emanating from her love for her nation and the Commonwealth, and from her deep faith in the Christ who came as one who serves. But alongside that were two further virtues, contained in another favoured Bible text from the outset of Her Majesty’s reign: the words of Moses to his successor, Joshua, when he exhorted the younger man to:
“Be strong and courageous … for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go”.
The Bishop of Guildford asked a question about Nigeria on 5th July 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Guildford: My Lords, I add my congratulations to the noble Lord, Lord Ahmad, for an excellent start to the FoRB conference down the road. In the spirit of that conference and this terrifying escalation in communal and religious tensions in Nigeria in the build-up to the 2023 elections, will the UK use its seat at the UN Security Council to seek a resolution that significantly enhances the security given to communities in Nigeria at risk of attack, including Christian farms and villages in the middle belt that have already been attacked by Fulani militia?
The Bishop of Southwark and the Bishop of Guildford spoke in a debate on the 2022 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and the future of the Commonwealth on 30th June 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, I too am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Howell of Guildford, for securing this timely debate. There is a tension throughout the history of the Commonwealth in its structure between cohesion and comprehension; between the fullest capacity to relate, and demands of function and utility. When the Imperial Conference of 1926 adopted the London declaration that the United Kingdom and dominions were
“autonomous Communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs”—
comments which I think still resonate in terms of the last speech—the competing argument of imperial federation was in terminal retreat.
The Bishop of Guildford asked a question about gender-based violence during a debate on Rape: Criminal Prosecutions, on 28th June 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Guildford: My Lords, gender-based violence has been a major theme in our discussions across the Anglican Communion, from a wide range of cultures. Many international communities look to the United Kingdom to lead in this area, given the deeply traumatising effect that such violence can have—obviously on the victims but also on whole communities over generations.
The Bishop of Guildford asked the following question on 28th June 2022, during a debate on the Commonwealth:
The Lord Bishop of Guildford: My Lords, as the Minister knows extremely well, this week marks a brief lull between the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Rwanda last week and the International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief in London next week. Given the overlap between those two conferences, what progress has been made on this basic human right, not least given that three of the Commonwealth nations—India, Pakistan and Nigeria—are among the worst when it comes to protecting the rights, and even the lives, of Christians and those of other faiths and beliefs?
The Bishop of Guildford received the following written answer on 27th June 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Guildford asked Her Majesty’s Government:
in advance of the third anniversary of the publication of the Bishop of Truro’s Independent Review for the UK Foreign Secretary of Foreign and Commonwealth Office Support for Persecuted Christians, published on 4 July 2019, whether they intend to fulfil recommendation 22 of that report.
who will conduct the review of the progress made since the Bishop of Truro’s Independent Review for the UK Foreign Secretary of Foreign and Commonwealth Office Support for Persecuted Christians, published on 4 July 2019; what will be their terms of reference; and when the findings of this review will be published.
whether they intend to implement any of the recommendations of the Bishop of Truro’s Independent Review for the UK Foreign Secretary of Foreign and Commonwealth Office Support for Persecuted Christians, published on 4 July 2019, after 4 July this year.
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