Bishop of St Albans raises case of Christian convert & missionary jailed in Iran

On 19th December 2017 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question about the imprisonment in Iran of Christian convert and missionary Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have made representations to the government of Iran relating to the case of Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh, an Iranian convert to Christianity who has had his 10-year prison sentence for missionary activities upheld after losing his appeal. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans raises case of Christian convert & missionary jailed in Iran”

Church Commissioner Questions: Marriage Registration, Religious Minorities in Egypt

On 7th December 2017 MPs put questions to Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, on the Bills she and the Bishop of St Albans are sponsoring to enable mothers names to be registered in equal terms alongside fathers on marriage certificates, and on attacks on religious minorities in Egypt.

Marriage Certificates: Equal Registration

Gillian Keegan (Chichester) (Con): What recent discussions the Church of England has had with the Government on enabling mothers to be registered on an equal basis with fathers on marriage certificates. [902808]

 Wendy Morton (Aldridge-Brownhills) (Con): What recent discussions the Church of England has had with the Government on enabling mothers to be registered on an equal basis with fathers on marriage certificates. [902809]

Tim Loughton (East Worthing and Shoreham) (Con): What recent discussions the Church of England has had with the Government on enabling mothers to be registered on an equal basis with fathers on marriage certificates. [902814]

The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Dame Caroline Spelman): I have had many recent discussions with Departments, particularly the Home Office, not least because of my Registration of Marriage (No. 2) Bill, which is in train. There is an identical Bill before the House of Lords that would achieve the same purpose of allowing mothers to sign marriage certificates. I am not precious about which Bill gets to the finishing line first—we just need to do it. Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions: Marriage Registration, Religious Minorities in Egypt”

Bishop of Coventry asks Government about freedom of religion and belief and use of the death penalty across the Commonwealth

On Wednesday 15th November 2017 the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received written answers to five questions about freedom of religion and belief and use of the death penalty across the Commonwealth: 

The Lord Bishop of Coventry:

(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the number of Commonwealth countries that retain apostasy laws.

(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the number of Commonwealth countries that retain some form of blasphemy law.

(iii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the number of Commonwealth countries that retain the death penalty.

(iv) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their strategy for protecting freedom of religion or belief across the Commonwealth.

(v) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what percentage of funds currently allocated under the Magna Carta Fund aim to protect or strengthen freedom of religion or belief across the Commonwealth. Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry asks Government about freedom of religion and belief and use of the death penalty across the Commonwealth”

Church Commissioner Questions: income inequality, Heritage Lottery Fund, clergy vocations, oppression of overseas Christians, same-sex marriage

On 26th October 2017 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered questions from MPs on income inequality, the Heritage Lottery Fund, clergy vocations, the oppression of Christians overseas and same-sex marriage.

Income Inequality

Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East) (Lab): What recent discussions the Church of England has had with the Government on income inequality. [901426] Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions: income inequality, Heritage Lottery Fund, clergy vocations, oppression of overseas Christians, same-sex marriage”

Bishop of Salisbury asks Government about help for returning displaced Christians in Iraq

On 24th October 2017, the Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, repeated a Government statement on the liberation of Raqqa. The Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: My Lords, I thank the Minister for his statement and point out that the Christian presence in Iraq is integral to that country’s cultural identity. A reconstruction committee composed of Chaldean, Syriac and Syriac Orthodox churches has restored over 1,700 properties, but that will restore fewer than a quarter of internationally displaced people. What can the Government do to help those displaced Christians to return safely to that space, like Jonah returning to Nineveh, a place where they belong and are called? How can the Government support them in that process where there is a real threat in terms of faith? Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury asks Government about help for returning displaced Christians in Iraq”

Bishop of Leeds asks Government about impact of sanctions, human rights and church demolitions in Sudan

On 18th and 20th September 2017 the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, received written answers to five questions about Sudan, on the humanitarian impact of sanctions, the demolition of churches and the human rights situation:

 

The Lord Bishop of Leeds:

(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the humanitarian impact of sanctions on the people of Sudan.

(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of the United States regarding the suspension or refinement of sanctions on Sudan.

(iii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the efficacy of sanctions on Sudan.

(iv)  To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the human rights situation and current levels of humanitarian access in Sudan.

(v) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Sudan regarding the demolition of churches built on land that has since been designated for buildings other than places of worship.

Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds asks Government about impact of sanctions, human rights and church demolitions in Sudan”

Bishop of Southwark asks Government about protection of Christians in Iraq and Syria

On 25th July 2017 the Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, received written answers to two questions of Government about protecting Christians in Iraq and Syria. 

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking in Iraq and Syria to discharge the responsibility set out by Mark Field MP, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, on 4 July (HC Deb Col. 21WH) for “protecting and upholding the rights of Christian communities across the globe.” Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark asks Government about protection of Christians in Iraq and Syria”