Bishop of St Albans asks Government about freedom of religion in China

On 4th April 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a question he had tabled on religious freedom in China. The exchanges, and the follow-up questions from other Members, are below:

China: Religious Freedom

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their current assessment of freedom of religion in China.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon) (Con): My Lords, there are several recognised religions in China, with tens of millions of practising Christians, Muslims and Buddhists, among others. However, we are deeply concerned about developing restrictions on freedom of religion or belief in China, including reports that authorities are tightening control over how certain religions are practised. At the United Nations Human Rights Council last month, I raised directly our concerns about restrictions on freedom of religion or belief in China, including on Muslims and Christians in Xinjiang.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I thank the Minister for his reply. There are deeply worrying reports coming out of China, not least about persecuting the Christian churches there—an ancient Christian church there was founded in the 7th century. Will he comment particularly on the developing situation concerning Uighur Muslims and the development of the network of re-education camps in Xinjiang province? What representations have Her Majesty’s Government made and what are they planning to do?

Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about freedom of religion in China”

Church Commissioner Questions – Christian persecution overseas, homelessness, married couples’ tax allowance

On 21st February 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered three written questions from MPs, on Christian persecution overseas, homelessness, and married couples’ tax allowances.

Jim Shannon(Strangford): To ask the Right Honourable Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what humanitarian support the Church of England provides to people overseas that are persecuted for their Christian beliefs. Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions – Christian persecution overseas, homelessness, married couples’ tax allowance”

Church Commissioner Questions: historic buildings, Christian persecution overseas, promoting marriage

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:

Church Commissioners
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. [908606]

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”

Bishop of Coventry asks Government about Asia Bibi, religious freedom in Pakistan, and asylum on religious persecution grounds

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.

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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”

Church Commissioner Questions: Forestry, Persecuted Christians, Christ Church college Oxford, Christmas campaign

On Thursday 29th November 2018 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered questions in the House of Commons on the Northern Forest Initiative, persecuted Christians overseas, Christ Church college Oxford, and the Church of England’s Christmas campaign. A full transcript is below: Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions: Forestry, Persecuted Christians, Christ Church college Oxford, Christmas campaign”

Bishop of St Albans asks if Government will pressure Pakistan on blasphemy laws after Asia Bibi case

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”

Bishop of Coventry asks why few Christians, Yazidis and Syrian religious minorities have been resettled in UK

Coventry171123 bOn 23rd July 2018, the Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received a written answer to a question on refugee resettlement:

The Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of why the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has referred so few Christians, Yazidis and other Syrian religious minorities for resettlement in the UK; whether any members of those minorities were resettled in the UK in the first quarter of 2018; and if not, why not. Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry asks why few Christians, Yazidis and Syrian religious minorities have been resettled in UK”