On the 18th July 2017, the Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, received a written answer to a question about the UNHCR’s assessment of refugees.
The Lord Bishop of Southwark: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, whether they have made any representations to the UNHCR concerning that agency’s understanding of vulnerability, with a view to redefining that definition to include religion as one of the criteria used to identify those refugees most in need of assistance. [HL705]
On 12th July 2017 the Secretary of State for International Development, Rt Hon Priri Patel MP, made a statement to the House of Commons about the humanitarian situation in Mosul, Iraq. The Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, asked a follow up question:
Dame Caroline Spelman (Meriden) (Con): Mosul was home to one of the oldest Christian communities in the region, but religious minorities suffered dreadfully at the hands of ISIS. What can DFID do to ensure that such minorities are able to return to their place of origin? Continue reading
On 11th July 2017 the Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, received written answers to three questions on Turkey; on religious freedom, confiscation of church properties and the Hagia Sophia.
The Lord Bishop of Southwark: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, what assessment they have made of recent reports that the Turkish Governor of Mardin has confiscated some 60 properties, including churches, monasteries and cemeteries. Continue reading
On 6th July 2017 the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received two written answers, on freedom of religion or belief and violence towards people because of their faith, gender or sexuality:
The Lord Bishop of Coventry: to ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to create an ambassador-level champion for freedom of religion or belief. Continue reading
On 6th July 2017 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question on persecution of religious and ethnic minorities in Iran:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the Republic of Iran concerning the continuing persecution of religious and ethnic minorities, as described in the Annual report of the UN Secretary-General to the Human Rights Council submitted on 13 March, Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran A/HRC/34/40. Continue reading
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
On the 3rd July 2017, the Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Dr Christopher Cocksworth received an answer to a written question on the detention of the Eritrean Orthodox Patriarch.
Lord Bishop of Coventry: Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Eritrea regarding the ongoing detention of the Eritrean Orthodox Patriarch Abune Antonios.