Baroness Caroline Cox, honorary chair of the Anglican Relief and Development Fund, addressed Assembly on June 8 with a sense of urgency for spreading the Gospel while helping those in need. Cox is a member of the British House of Lords in Parliament and a tireless campaigner for human rights around the world.
Despite arriving in the U.S. to find her luggage and computer lost in transit, Cox was delighted to “share the pain, passion, and privilege of helping to make a difference for those on the front lines of faith and freedom” with Assembly. Whether she is crossing into Burma from Thailand to document the shoot-to-kill and scorched earth policy of the military junta, or landing on forbidden airstrips in Sudan, danger is never far away from Cox or the people for whom she is fighting. “I spend a lot of my time crossing borders illegally and completely shamelessly to gather evidence of oppression and persecution,” she said. She shared that she had been given a prison sentence for illegal entry in Sudan. “Thank you for welcoming a convict, very inclusive of you,” she added.
Cox has witnessed firsthand the effects of the persecution of Christians. Destruction of church buildings and Christian homes was a recurring motif of her presentation. “No other faith has faced such systematic destruction. In ruined churches the people worship with such joy. The Church grows under persecution,” she said. She particularly focused on the forced Islamization of Christian populaces in countries like Nigeria and Sudan, where aid from Islamic groups is contingent on conversion to Islam. Christians are literally starving to death for their faith in Jesus Christ.
Cox is the founder of Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust. The ministry of HART is holistic, ranging from providing food aid to dealing with the effects of trauma on children. “One of the things we do is ask children to draw what they feel because sometimes it is easier to draw than to talk,” she said.
She emphasized the need for Western Christians to form local partnerships with the neglected and persecuted people of the world. She refers to these local partners as “people of the mustard seed” because they “multiply the little we give in ways beyond anything we can imagine.” By promoting local partnerships, Cox hopes to empower the oppressed and break the cycle of financial dependence on the West. “I cannot do everything, but I must not do nothing,” Cox concluded.
More About Baroness Cox
The Baroness Caroline Cox was created a Life Peer in 1982 and was a deputy speaker of the House of Lords from 1985 to 2005. She was Founder Chancellor of Bournemouth University from 1991 to 2001 and is currently Chancellor of Liverpool Hope University and a Vice President of the Royal College of Nursing. She is heavily involved with international humanitarian work. She is Chief Executive of HART (Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust). She was also a founder Trustee of MERLIN (Medical Emergency Relief International).
Baroness Cox’s humanitarian aid work has taken her on many missions to conflict zones, including the Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh; Sudan; Nigeria; Uganda; the Karen, Karenni, Shan and Chin peoples in the jungles of Burma; and communities suffering from conflict in Indonesia where she helped to establish the International Islamic Christian Organisation for Reconciliation and Reconstruction (IICORR) with the late former President Abdurrahman Wahid. She has visited North Korea helping to promote Parliamentary initiatives and medical programs. She has also been instrumental in helping to change the former Soviet Union’s policies for orphaned and abandoned children from institutional to foster family care.