Persecuted Christian Leaders Denied Access into UK

Dec 6th, 2016 | By | Category: News Posts

Nazarene_Pin_Ad_300pxThree Christian leaders from Iraq and Syria were denied entrance into the UK last week, despite the fact that they had a formal invitation to meet Prince Charles.

The three men planned a trip to London for a consecration ceremony of Britain’s first Syriac Orthodox Cathedral.

The men were Archbishops Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf from Mosul, Timothius Moousa Shamani of St. Matthew’s in the Nineveh valley of northern Iraq and Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh of Homs and Hama in Syria. They missed the event due to the Home Office deeming their visa applications unacceptable.

The Archbishops said they were told their visas were denied because they “did not have enough money to support themselves and might not leave the UK,” according to the Sunday Express.

Archbishop Alnemeh was told the office didn’t issue visas to anyone from Syria.

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Dr. Martin Parsons, the head of research at the Barnabas Fund, an organization that helps Christians escape war-torn countries, said:

“It is unbelievable that these persecuted Christians who come from the cradle of Christianity are being told there is no room at the inn when the UK is offering a welcome to Islamists who persecute Christians. There is a serious systemic problem when Islamist leaders who advocate the persecution of Christians are given the green light telling them that their application for UK visas will be looked on favorably, while visas for short pastoral visits to the UK are denied to Christian leaders who churches are facing genocide.”

The Daily Mail reports that in August 2016, The Home Office released a statement that discussed that asylum grants where being given to members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which is characterized as a terrorist organization there. The Home Office’s statement said: “High profile supporters or those perceived to support the [Muslim Brotherhood], such as journalists, may also be similarly at risk of persecution. In such cases, a grant of asylum will be appropriate.”

Dr. Parsons claims that two Islamic leaders from Pakistan who advocate for the killing of Christians who are accused of blasphemy, were granted UK visas in July.

The UK Visa requirements for a standard short-stay are as follows: “You must always show that:

  • You’ll leave the UK at the end of your visit
  • You’re able to support yourself and any dependents for the duration of your trip
  • You’re able to pay for your return or onward journey and any other costs relating to your visit
  • You have proof of any business or other activities you want to do in the UK, as allowed by the Visitor Rules.”



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