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Church of Scotland
UK News

Review of controversial Pakistan Christian visa decision welcomed by Church

The pair, who hope to visit Britain as part of a partnership between Glasgow Presbytery and the Diocese of Hyderabad, were denied entry to Britain last month.

Joint clerk and former Moderator of the General Assembly, Very Rev Bill Hewitt, said: "This a welcome development and we would be delighted if our friends from Pakistan were able to come to Glasgow."

"They were very welcoming when a delegation from Glasgow visited the Diocese of Hyderabad last year and we very much want them to come here so they can share in the life of the Presbytery and give the twinning partnership real meaning."

Church of Scotland
Members of the Kirk in the Diocese of Hyderabad

Members of the Kirk in the Diocese of Hyderabad

The pair from southern Pakistan were stopped from visiting Britain by the Home Office on grounds they were unable to prove they had sufficient wealth to meet the criteria.

Their case was raised with Prime Minister Theresa May in the House of Commons last week by the MP for East Renfrewshire, Kirsten Oswald.

Ms Oswald has since received a letter from the Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill which said: "It is fair and right that the immigration rules are applied in all cases.

"However, further to your concerns, I have asked for both decisions to be reviewed."

The visit would have been fully funded by the Presbytery of Glasgow which said the Home Office's decision to deny them visas left the two Pakistani Christians "personally depressed and shocked."

Glasgow Presbytery fears the difficulties faced by people from poorer countries in securing visas will hamper international church events such as the World Council of Churches General Assembly in Glasgow.

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