Bishop Nick Baines writes a letter to the Prime Minister

Posted by The_Elves

Dear Prime Minister,

Iraq and IS

I am conscious of the speed at which events are moving in Iraq and Syria, and write recognising the complexity and interconnectedness of the challenges faced by the international community in responding to the crises in Syria and Iraq.

However, in common with many bishops and other correspondents here in the UK, I remain very concerned about the Government’s response to several issues. I write with the support of the Archbishop of Canterbury to put these questions to you.

1. It appears that, in common with the United States and other partners, the UK is responding to events in a reactive way, and it is difficult to discern the strategic intentions behind this approach. Please can you tell me what is the overall strategy that holds together the UK Government’s response to both the humanitarian situation and what IS is actually doing in Syria and Iraq? Behind this question is the serious concern that we do not seem to have a coherent or comprehensive approach to Islamist extremism as it is developing across the globe. Islamic State, Boko Haram and other groups represent particular manifestations of a global phenomenon, and it is not clear what our broader global strategy is – particularly insofar as the military, political, economic and humanitarian demands interconnect. The Church internationally must be a primary partner in addressing this complexity.

2. The focus by both politicians and media on the plight of the Yezidis has been notable and admirable. However, there has been increasing silence about the plight of tens of thousands of Christians who have been displaced, driven from cities and homelands, and who face a bleak future. Despite appalling persecution, they seem to have fallen from consciousness, and I wonder why. Does your Government have a coherent response to the plight of these huge numbers of Christians whose plight appears to be less regarded than that of others? Or are we simply reacting to the loudest media voice at any particular time?

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)

2 Comments
Posted August 18, 2014 at 9:36 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

Good letter.  Thank you Bishop Nick.

August 19, 7:49 am | [comment link]
2. Terry Tee wrote:

I too am surprised at the disappearance of the Christian refugees from the attention of the UK media.  After an initial flurry about them on the BBC, nothing more;  CNN has been much, much better.  I have wondered whether, yet again, the British commentariat is embarrassed by anything Christian, appalled at the thought of having to speak up for Christians.  Presumably this mindset would see Middle Easter Christians as anachronistic relics.  Well done to Bishop Baines for highlighting this strange deletion of the suffering of our brothers and sisters.

August 20, 9:19 am | [comment link]
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