“…the local Christian diocese has to shoulder most of the burden of caring for people who are in desperate need, and of attempting to feed them when its own resources are pitifully small. Have Her Majesty’s Government given any consideration to providing aid, and so helping to meet people’s basic human rights to food and drink, through the church in that part of Sudan? Heroic efforts are being made to alleviate desperate need, but funding is urgently required” – Bishop of Carlisle, 14.7.14
On 14th July 2014, Baroness Cox led a short debate in the House of Lords to ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of human rights in the Republic of Sudan. The Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Revd James Newcome, took part in the debate. He spoke about the dire humanitarian situation in the country and the increasing role being played by the church; and also highlighted a number of instances of persecution on the grounds of religious beliefs, urging the Government to put pressure on the Republic of Sudan to respect and promote Article 18 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, I, too, am most grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Cox. Unlike her, I cannot claim to be an expert on Sudan, but some of my colleagues who would normally speak on this issue have been unavoidably detained today in another debate of some importance to the church at the General Synod in York. I am very grateful for this opportunity to contribute to this debate because the human rights issues it raises are of such enormous significance, not only for the individuals directly concerned but for the way in which we direct our foreign aid and conduct our foreign policy. Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle calls for Government action to tackle religious persecution in Republic of Sudan”
Church Commissioners’ Questions: 12th June 2014
Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, representing the Church Commissioners, was asked questions in the House of Commons on 12th June, on the service of remembrance for Stephen Sutton, school chaplains, persecuted Christians overseas, listed church building repairs, credit unions and biblical literacy amongst children. The transcript is below:
Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) (Con):If he will visit Lichfield cathedral to discuss the service of remembrance and celebration of the life of Stephen Sutton. 
The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Sir Tony Baldry): I am always happy to visit Lichfield cathedral. The whole country will have celebrated the life and achievements of Stephen Sutton. The recent service of remembrance and celebration at Lichfield cathedral demonstrates the importance of cathedrals as a focus for unity at times of local and national celebration, commemoration and mourning. Continue reading “MPs questions to Church Commissioners’: Stephen Sutton, school chaplains, persecuted Christians, church repairs, credit unions, biblical literacy”
On 10th June 2014 Lord Alton put a question in the House of Lords “to ask Her Majesty’s Government what actions they have taken to secure the release of Meriam Ibrahim, sentenced to death for apostasy in Sudan, and to promote the terms of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” The Bishop of Norwich, Rt Rev Graham James, asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of Norwich: My Lords, can the Minister inform the House what conversations Her Majesty’s Government have had with Mr Barroso and Mr Van Rompuy, who are meeting international faith leaders in Brussels tomorrow to press for united action in this case?
Baroness Northover: I will have to write to the right reverend Prelate in this regard to fill him in on that. However, I can tell him that we are keeping this case under close review and working with a number of different people.
On 7th November 2013, Baroness Cox led a short debate on what assessment Her Majesty’s Government have made of the situation in Sudan, and the implications for citizens of the Republic of South Sudan. The Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Revd Christopher Hill, took part in the debate.
The Lord Bishop of Guildford: My Lords, I completely endorse what has been said so far in this discussion. I want to raise a rather different point, but equally I want to express my distress—and, indeed, my shared anger—about the humanitarian, agrarian and political disaster about which we have been speaking.
My rather different point is a question about the implications of further destabilisation of Sudan for the country’s international neighbours. I think that that is an important point. I visit Nigeria regularly, and I am due to fly out to Abuja on Sunday. Four years ago, I was able to go to the province of Maiduguri up in the north-east. I cannot go there now, at the moment anyway, because of the political situation. Maiduguri is a long, long way from Sudan—many miles away. Nevertheless, I believe that there is a connection. Continue reading “Bishop of Guildford warns of further destabilisation if situations in Sudan and South Sudan are not resolved”