At Least Five Pakistani Priests Denied Visas for World Meeting of Families in Ireland

Country: Ireland

Date of incident: August 19, 2018

Category: Government Restrictions

Attack against: Faith

Area of case: Governmental

Christians from Pakistan and Iraq were denied visas to attend the 2018 World Meeting of Families in Dublin, including at least 5 priests, due to "insufficient connections" to the event. A priest from Karachi received a letter rejecting his application in which the officer said there was "no evidence of a valid reason to travel to Ireland" and that the Catholic priest lacked "sufficient connection" to the World Meeting or to the Pope to justify attendance.

According to The Times, Father Anthony Abraz of Karachi said his visa rejection had confused him, as some of the reasons given were inconsistent with evidence he had provided.

“The reasons given are very funny,” he said. “The Irish visa office say that they are worried that I will not return to Karachi and that I have not travelled before. I am a priest in Karachi so of course I will return, and I have travelled around the world for similar events. It is a great shame I will not be there for the Pope.”

Source: The Times