Bishop of Southwark voices doubts about US Peace to Prosperity economic plan for Palestine

Southwark170718On 18th July 2019 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Cope of Berkeley (Con) asking Government “what assessment they have made of the government of the United States’ Peace to Prosperity economic plan for Palestine, published on 26 June”. The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, spoke:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, I add my congratulations to those already offered to the noble Lord, Lord Cope of Berkeley, on this timely and important debate. As many of your Lordships may know, I generally visit the Holy Land twice a year. Each January, I accompany the Vatican’s Holy Land co-ordination group to the area as the sole Anglican bishop. I have experienced much Israeli and Palestinian hospitality down the years. I am only too well aware of the State of Israel’s just concerns for its security and its safeguarding of the holy places of Jerusalem, but I have witnessed Bethlehem walled in on three sides, Palestinian agricultural land divided and appropriated by military structures, and the acquisition of swathes of the West Bank and east Jerusalem for the settlement of Israel’s citizens and the exclusion of Palestine’s.

Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark voices doubts about US Peace to Prosperity economic plan for Palestine”

Bishop of Leeds asks Government about progress in Israel-Palestine conflict resolution

18.12.05 Leeds Brexit deal debateOn 8th July 2019 the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, received written answers from the Government in reply to three questions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: (i) HL16758 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the Peace to Prosperity workshop convened by the United States in Bahrain. Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds asks Government about progress in Israel-Palestine conflict resolution”

Bishop of Southwark asks Government about separation barrier in Cremisan Valley

On 11th March 2019 Baroness Tonge asked the Government “what discussions they have had with the Government of Israel about the increase in settlement building in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.” The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, I attend annually the Vatican-mandated Holy Land Coordination, as well as attending other things in the Holy Land. I shall be there in a week’s time with my curates. In the visit of the co-ordination group in 2017, we noted the injustice of the separation barrier built across Palestinian land in the Cremisan Valley and the creeping annexation of territory through settlement building. Will the Minister accept the denial of hope to the young people of Palestine that this taking of their land represents and reconsider the Government’s stand on delaying recognition of the state of Palestine in support of the two-state solution? Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark asks Government about separation barrier in Cremisan Valley”

Church Commissioners Written Answer: Christians in the Middle East

On 22nd November 2018 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question on Christians in the Middle East:

Henry Smith (Crawley): To ask the Right Honourable Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what discussions the Church Commissioners have had on maintaining the Christian community in the Middle East. Continue reading “Church Commissioners Written Answer: Christians in the Middle East”

Church Commissioner Questions: modern slavery, Middle East peace, Church of Scotland relations, LGBTQ community, bell ringing, Nigerian Christians, religious literacy, overseas orphanages, affordable housing, gay conversion therapy.

On 7th June 2018 Dame Caroline Spelman MP, representing the Church Commissioners, answered questions in the House of Commons from MPs on modern slavery, Middle East peace,  Church of Scotland relations, LGBTQ community, bell ringing, Nigerian Christians, religious literacy, overseas orphanages, affordable housing, and gay conversion therapy.  A transcript is below:

The right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, was asked— Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions: modern slavery, Middle East peace, Church of Scotland relations, LGBTQ community, bell ringing, Nigerian Christians, religious literacy, overseas orphanages, affordable housing, gay conversion therapy.”

Bishop of Worcester asks about religious literacy in Government, especially of Islam

Worcester271117On 21st May 2018, Lord Ahmed tabled an Oral Question ‘To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to encourage Iran and Saudi Arabia to work together to bring peaceful solutions to the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.’ The Bishop of Worcester, the Rt Revd Dr John Inge, asked a follow up question:

The Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, does the Minister accept the continuing pressing need to improve religious literacy, not least concerning Sunni and Shia, within and without Whitehall if we in this country are properly to understand, let alone address, the problems to which reference has been made? Continue reading “Bishop of Worcester asks about religious literacy in Government, especially of Islam”

Bishop of Worcester asks Government about ‘real, substantial hope’ for Gaza

On 15th May 2018, Lord Ahmad repeated the answer to an urgent question asked in the House of Commons on violence at the Gaza border and its impact on the Middle East peace process. The Bishop of Worcester, the Rt Revd John Inge, responded:

The Lord Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, I am grateful to Her Majesty’s Government for the careful yet very specific response they have given to the appalling loss of life at the border between Gaza and the state of Israel yesterday. The thoughts and prayers of this Bench are with all those affected. It is good to know that the Minister supports an independent review of what happened. At the same time, will the Minister agree that, while the United Kingdom recognises the integrity of the border—and, indeed, of all Israel’s pre-1967 borders—and the security of Israel’s prosperous and pluriform society, the defence of its interests must offer tangible hope to those with whom it hopes to engage in dialogue? The phrase, “a glimmer of hope” was mentioned a moment ago. I was in Gaza about four years ago. The situation then was desperate ​and deteriorating. It is infinitely worse now. What real, substantial hope can be given to those who live in what is effectively a vast open prison? Continue reading “Bishop of Worcester asks Government about ‘real, substantial hope’ for Gaza”