Church Commissioners written answer: persecuted Christians

SelousOn 10th January 2020, Andrew Selous MP, the newly appointed Second Church Estates Commissioner, answered a written question from Jim Shannon MP, about Kurdish and other persecuted Christians:

Jim Shannon (DUP): 299 To ask the hon. Member representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to provide support to (a) Kurdish Christians and (b) other persecuted Christian groups.

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Bishop of St Albans asks Government about treatment of Uyghur people in China

St Albans 2On 7th January 2020 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer from Government,  about racial discrimination and the Uyghur people:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: HL72 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the statement delivered by the UK Permanent Representative to the UN at the Third Committee session on the Committee for the elimination of racial discrimination and the conclusions of the United Nations on the treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjang. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about treatment of Uyghur people in China”

Bishop of St Albans raises religious persecution in Queen’s Speech debate

St Albans 2On 7th January 2020 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke during the second day of debate on the Queen’s Speech, on the topic of the integrated security, defence and foreign policy review:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I want to make a few comments on the integrated security, defence and foreign policy review, which is a welcome development in the Government’s plans for the next five years.

I note that the Government will consider the,

“freedom of speech, human rights and the rule of law”

of foreign nations and how this interacts with our own interests. I hope that the Minister will agree with these Benches that any such review should also include religious persecution, drawing on the work and recent report of the Foreign Office, assisted by the Bishop of Truro, on the persecution of Christians.

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Archbishop of Canterbury asks Government for pressure on universities over antisemitism on campus

Canterbury171018On 4th November 2019 Lord Leigh of Hurley asked the Government “how many universities in England have adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism; and what steps they intend to take in respect of those which have not”. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Archbishop of Canterbury: My Lords, I declare an interest as president of the Council of Christians and Jews, founded in the depths of the Second World War by Chief Rabbi Hertz and Archbishop William Temple. I applaud the noble Baroness’s long history of standing up for freedom of religion and belief. Like the noble Lord, the CCJ hears numerous reports of no-platforming, intimidation and lack of free speech. I fully accept that universities are autonomous, but will the Minister look for ways in which pressure can be applied to ensure that these standards are kept? Does she agree that mere exhortation is not really working?

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Bishop of Leeds asks for Government position on International Religious Freedom Alliance

Leeds0518On 9th August 2019 the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, received a written answer from Government regarding the UK joining the US-based International Religious Freedom Alliance:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: HL17528 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the International Religious Freedom Alliance launched by the United States Secretary of State on 18 July; and what consideration they have given to joining that Alliance. Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds asks for Government position on International Religious Freedom Alliance”

Bishop of Chelmsford speaks in debate on religious persecution, welcomes Foreign Office report into persecuted Christians

On 11th July 2019 Lord Elton led a debate in the House of Lords  “That this House takes note of the extent of persecution of people of faith in this century.” The Bishop; of Chelmsford, Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Chelmsford: My Lords, I too am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Elton, for this opportunity to examine the extent of persecution of people of faith. I will not repeat the heart-breaking stories of the terrible atrocities that besmirch our world, but they are of course the day-to-day reality for so many people of faith. I thank the noble Lord, Lord Alton, and others for telling those stories—they need to be heard.

The diocese I serve as Bishop of Chelmsford covers east London and Essex and contains some of the most diverse and rapidly changing communities in our land. Here, faith leaders and grassroots worshippers from all religions are engaged in some of the most humbling and encouraging initiatives to hold fast to that most irreducible of godly virtues: peace. Although east London is often a place where bridges are built, sadly, it is also too often an arena where the backwash from religious intolerance, persecution and strife from around the world is felt. We are a global village, but sadly we are also a global playground where much cruelty and intolerance go unchecked.

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Bishop of St Albans asks about situation of Christians in China

On 28th May 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question he had asked about Chinese Christians:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: HL15776 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the situation of Chinese Christians following reports that the government of China has labelled the expansion of Christianity a “grave harm to Chinese national security”.

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