A PRIEST from Sudan on a mission to raise awareness of the
conflict in his nation has been denied a visa to enter the UK.
The priest, the Revd Timothy Krindi, from the diocese of
Kadugli, had been invited by the deanery of Bradford on Avon, in
the diocese of Salisbury, to visit churches in the area and explain
the desperate conditions of many Sudanese Christians.
The Home Office has denied him a one-month tourist visa,
however, obliging Mr Krindi to cancel his visit.
The diocese of Kadugli is on the border between Sudan and South
Sudan, which gained independence in 2011. There has been fighting
between the mostly Arab government forces and the local Africans in
the area for years. Many civilians have been killed by air
bombardment, and thousands more have fled the region.
Christopher Fielden, who had been helping to organise the trip,
said that the visa application had been rejected because the
Government did not believe that Mr Krindi was earning enough in
Sudan to encourage him to return.
This was not confirmed by a Home Office spokeswoman. In a
statement, she said: "All applications are considered on their
individual merits, and in line with the immigration rules."
Mr Krindi had travelled to the UK's High Commission in Nairobi,
Kenya, to apply for the visa, and then appealed when his
application was turned down. The appeal was also unsuccessful.
Mr Fielden said: "The cost of his getting there, and staying
whilst he had a decision both on the initial application and the
appeal, was approximately £800. This has been paid by the Bradford
on Avon deanery, but it means that we can give that much less to
support the Church in South Sudan."
The Second Church Estates Commissioner, Sir Tony Baldry MP, said
that he would take up Mr Krindi's case with ministers in the Home
Office and the UK Border Agency. He had yet to receive a response
to his enquiries when the Church Times went to press.
Mr Fielden said: "In the press, I learn that Russian oligarchs
are granted extended visas to stay in this country on production of
£2.5 million. It appears there is one rule for the rich and another
for the poor."