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Apr. 05, 2018

UK denies visa to Iraqi nun who fled Islamic State


A nun driven from her home in Iraq by Islamic State has been denied a UK visa to allow her to visit her sick sister, the Catholic Herald reports.

Aid to the Church in Need/Jaco KlamerA building destroyed in Qaraqosh, which was the last Christian majority town in Iraq

Sister Ban Madleen was forced to leave her convent in Qaraqosh when the rebels took over the city and settled as a refugee in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, where she set up kindergartens for children.

The letter of refusal from UK Visas and Immigration says she had not provided evidence of her income as a kindergarten principal or that the Dominican Sisters of St Catherine of Siena would fund her visit. Rather than allowing her to do so, the letter seen by the Catholic Herald says: 'In relation to this decision there is no right of appeal or right to administrative review.'

The case is the latest in which clergy, religious and church leaders have been denied entry to the UK on grounds their supporters deem spurious. Earlier this year two pastors from South Sudan were denied entry to attend a Christian conference in a decision branded 'ludicrous' by North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins. The Home Office reversed the ban after protests from the Church of Scotland.

In November 2016 three archbishops from Iraq and Syria invited to attend the consecration of the Syriac Orthodox Cathedral of St Thomas where the congregation was addressed by Prince Charles were denied entry.


Christian Today