On 17th January 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered questions from MPs on historic church buildings, Christian persecution overseas, and the promotion of marriage. A full transcript follows:
The right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, was asked—
Protection of Historic Church Buildings
Alex Burghart (Brentwood and Ongar) (Con): What steps the Church of England is taking to ensure that historic church buildings are protected. 
The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Dame Caroline Spelman): The Church of England continues to suffer thefts of metal and other items of historical and architectural interest from its churches. The Archbishop’s Council conducted an inquiry into this, and the trend appears to be gradually moving from east to west and from south to north. I encourage my hon. Friend to look at the Church of England [Churchcare] website for ways of protecting his churches more successfully. Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions: historic buildings, Christian persecution overseas, promoting marriage”
On 3rd December 2018 the Bishop of Coventry received written answers to five questions he had tabled to Government on Asia Bibi, religious freedom in Pakistan and applications for asylum from Pakistan on grounds of religious persecution:
The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the state of freedom of religion or belief in Pakistan.
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to (1) support religious pluralism, and (2) promote freedom of religion or belief, in Pakistan. Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry asks Government about Asia Bibi, religious freedom in Pakistan, and asylum on religious persecution grounds”
On 20th November 2018 Lord Alton asked the Government ‘what response they have made to requests to assist in the (1) safe passage and resettlement of, and (2) granting of asylum to Asia Bibi and her family.’ The Bishop of St Albans asked a follow up question:
Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks if Government will pressure Pakistan on blasphemy laws after Asia Bibi case”
On 12th July 2017 the Bishop of St Albans received a written answer to a question on the case of Asia Bibi, a Christian detained in Pakistan on charges of blasphemy:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the adjournment of Asia Bibi’s appeal, what representations, if any, they have made on her behalf to the government of Pakistan regarding reports that (1) there is a lack of information about when her appeal will be heard, and (2) that she is still being kept in solitary confinement. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government to raise the case of Asia Bibi with Pakistan”
On 4th July 2017 the House of Commons debated a motion from Jim Shannon MP (DUP), ‘That this House has considered persecution of Christians and the role of UK embassies.’ The Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, spoke in the debate:
Dame Caroline Spelman (Meriden) (Con): Thank you, Mr Hanson, for calling me because I omitted to put in to speak last night, for which I apologise. It was an oversight, but one that I should not have committed.
An interesting cross-section of Members of Parliament is in attendance to support my hon. Friend the Member for Strangford (Jim Shannon) who, as chair of the all-party group on international freedom of religion or belief, had the foresight to call for this debate. We welcome to the Chamber new Members who are showing their concern for the persecuted, and returning Members who we know through their faith will take a stand for the persecuted. As my hon. Friend the Member for Torbay (Kevin Foster) so eloquently put it, we are all here to show our solidarity, and that is the important point. Some Members may not even speak, but we are numerous and we wish the persecuted out there to know that. Continue reading “Caroline Spelman raises Christian persecution worldwide and blasphemy case in Pakistan”
On the 3rd July 2017, the Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Dr Christopher Cocksworth received an answer to a written question about the death sentence for blasphemy in Pakistan.
Lord Bishop of Coventry: Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Pakistan regarding the death sentence handed down by Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Court on 10 June to Taimoor Raza, a Shi’a Muslim, for allegedly committing blasphemy on Facebook.
Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry asks about blasphemy laws in Pakistan”
On 20th October 2016 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question of Government about the case of Asia Bibi in Pakistan.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Pakistan about the imminent appeal hearing for Asia Bibi at the Pakistani Supreme Court on the charge of blasphemy. [HL2175] Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about case of Asia Bibi”