Christian Archbishops from Iraq and Syria Denied Visas to UK

Country: United Kingdom

Date of incident: December 4, 2016

Despite a formal invitation from Prince Charles to attend a consecration ceremony of Britain's first Syriac Orthodox Cathedral, the Home Office denied the visa applications of Archbishops Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf of Mosul, Timothius Mousa Shamani of St Matthew's in Nineveh valley of northern Iraq, and Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh of Homs and Hama in Syria because they "did not have enough money to support themselves and might not leave the UK."

The decision has been widely criticized, as controversial members of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood (considered a terrorist organization in Egypt) were given asylum in the UK in August, whereas the visas for short pastoral visits such as these were denied. The leader of the UK's Syriac Orthodox Christians, Archbishop Athanasius Toma Dawod condemned the decision. Sources: Daily Mail, Express, Barnabas Fund