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.”
On 18th July 2017, Baroness Cox asked Her Majesty’s Government “what their assessment of recent developments in the Northern and Central Belt States in Nigeria were”. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd Justin Welby, asked a follow-up question.
The Archbishop of Canterbury: My Lords, does the Minister agree that there needs to be work both at grass roots and at the highest level? Many of the signs we are seeing in Nigeria at the moment—particularly the threats against the Igbo, which are happily diminishing—bring back to mind the terrible events immediately prior to the outbreak of war in 1967? What work are the British Government doing with partners locally, through their exceptionally gifted high commission and DfID staff, to work with grass-roots organisations, including religious organisations, which are capable of reaching the local leaders at the most vulnerable level? Continue reading “Archbishop asks Government about working with grassroots religious organisations for peace in Nigeria”
On 22nd November 2016 Baroness Cox asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of the continuing intercommunal conflicts in the northern and Middle Belt states of Nigeria; and what assistance they are providing for those displaced by these conflicts.” The Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Coventry: My Lords, my diocese is linked to the Anglican diocese of Kaduna, so I know something from the first-hand testimony of the bishop of the effects of communal violence in the Middle Belt states of Nigeria. Some very good reconciliation work is being undertaken there, as we have heard, and it is helpful to hear the assurance of the Minister on DfID funding for such projects. Perhaps I may ask her a little more specifically whether the Government are able to exert any influence on the Nigerian Government to ensure the return of land to communities that have been forcibly displaced. Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry asks Government about people displaced by conflict in Nigeria”
On 16th October 2016 during International Development questions in the House of Commons, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, asked the Secretary of State about the Government’s collaborative work with churches in Nigeria.
Dame Caroline Spelman (Meriden) (Con): The UK has excellent links through the Anglican Communion to the Churches in Nigeria. Would the Secretary of State welcome the willingness of the Churches to help with the humanitarian situation to address some of the underlying causes, particularly corruption?
Continue reading “Caroline Spelman asks Government about partnership with churches on aid and development”
On 25th March 2015 the Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, received an answer to a written question about the forthcoming Presidential election in Nigeria:
The Lord Archbishop of Canterbury: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of (1) the prospects for a free and fair Presidential election in Nigeria in 2015, and (2) progress made by the Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission towards minimising the possibility of electoral fraud. [HL5761]
Continue reading “Archbishop of Canterbury asks Government about Nigerian Presidential election”
On 30th October 2014, Baroness Cox asked Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of recent developments in Nigeria, with particular reference to the terrorist activities of Boko Haram. The Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill, asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of Lichfield: My Lords, what does the Minister make of the claims recently made by journalists that the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram are being held as trophies for various tribal leaders, as is apparently common in these regions, and that they will be released as soon as some way is found to flatter these leaders?
Baroness Anelay of St Johns: My Lords, I have read those reports. Anyone who is kidnapped in any situation is a bargaining chip. The difficulty is knowing with whom one strikes the bargain and at what price for all.
In the House of Lords on 14th May 2014 Lord Bach asked Her Majesty’s Government “what action they have taken to assist the Government of Nigeria to rescue the schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram.” The Bishop of Oxford, Rt Rev John Pritchard, asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, would the Minister agree with the comments made by the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury last weekend to the effect that, however abhorrent we may feel the organisation to be, it is necessary to engage in some way with Boko Haram and to do that at different levels? If that is the case, would the Minister give some indication of what kind of support or encouragement the Government are giving to that dialogue between Boko Haram and the Government of Nigeria?
Baroness Warsi: The most reverend Primate’s comments about negotiations or discussions with Boko Haram are quite right and, as the right reverend Prelate says, they are certainly something which the Nigerian Government have to take forward. I know that he has a considerable history of dealing with this kind of situation in Nigeria and, indeed, of being involved in mediation processes. However, the message that HMG have been strongly sending out, along with our international partners, is that this is an abhorrent crime, that the girls must be returned unconditionally and that this is not something we need to feel that Boko Haram has negotiating power over. There is a longer-term challenge in relation to tackling Boko Haram but I am not sure that that needs to be done over the lives of these young girls.