The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Rev Nicholas Baines has been stirring things up.
His letter to the Prime minister has been reported on the front page of today’s Observer. This is what the Observer said – Observer story.
Before you make your minds up about this it would be best to read the full text of the letter, which the bishop has also published on his own blog.
I think the bishop has got it right about the response being reactive. Once the media started reporting the Yazidis trapped in the mountains the government responded. But I do not think that Christians have been overlooked so much as modern reportage is dangerously biased towards the visual. The papers want a picture, the TV stations want film. Tend of thousands of Yazidis camping on a mountain side are far more dramatic in terms of the visual element than deserted houses with the letter N in Arabic – ﻦ – painted on their gateposts. If you are in a desperate situation your plight is determined by what pictures are available. Bishop Baines is right to question the government response, but I think there are more questions to be asked of the media.
But the government have no excuse. As well as the questions tabled by the Bishop of Coventry 0n 28th July the Archbishop of Canterbury has called it evil on 8th August: Archbishop’s website.
In short, a government that responds to public outcry led by the media when the reportage is seriusly flawed is a problem. But there are positives. Prime Minister Cameron’s refusal to cut foreign aid when the government is cutting everything else is a positive sign that he has a capacity for caring.
Most of all, we need to pray for the persecuted world.