Favourite Share

Pakistani Christians free to visit Scottish church

Two Pakistani Christians, who were originally banned from visiting Scotland, will visit a church there after a government u-turn.

The Home Office refused travel visas for the pair over concerns they weren't wealthy enough and may try to seek asylum here.

They had planned to visit Scotland as part of a twinning link between the Church of Scotland's Glasgow Presbytery and the Diocese of Hyderabad.

A number of campaigners and church leaders had campaigned on their behalf.

Speaking after the u-turn, SNP MP Kirsten Oswald said: The fact that the refusal has now been overturned rewards the efforts of Greenbank Parish Church who brought this important issue to my attention - and I am delighted that the twinning project will now be able to go ahead.

"The initial decision to refuse visas to the two Pakistani Christians was simply wrong - particularly with it coming down to the applicants being unable to prove they were wealthy enough to be allowed into the UK, despite the visits being fully funded by the Presbytery of Glasgow."


A Home Office spokesman said: "It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure they submit the required evidence to show they meet the financial requirements for the visa category they have applied for.

"Where this evidence is not provided applications will be refused."


The visitors will travel to Glasgow next month for a week-long stay.

They're being hosted by the Presbytery of Glasgow.

Joint Clerk Bill Hewitt told Premier he was concerned the original ruling could have set a dangerous precedent.

"There are other international conferences planned for the future and if we were only going to allow Christians who had money intro the country then that was going to say a dreadful thing for what kind of country Britain was," he said.

Listen to Bill Hewitt speaking to Premier's Marcus Jones.

« Back to the last issue

comments powered by Disqus
You may also like...

The Church of Scotland has criticised the UK Government after... More


The controversial decision to refuse visas to two Christians... More


The Home Office has overturned a decision to refuse to grant... More


The Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow has revealed he tried to comfort... More