Sudanese priest denied visa to UK

04 April 2014

PA

Demonstrators: a woman holding a placard joins hundreds of protesters outside the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday as Parliament debated the Immigration Bill

Demonstrators: a woman holding a placard joins hundreds of protesters outside the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday as Parliament debated the Immigrat...

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."

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