Rev. Rola Sleiman a Syrian minister of the National Evangelical Protestant Church of Syria and Lebanon was denied a visa to travel to the Church of Scotland. She was about to board her plane in Lebanon when she was told, at the last minute, that her visa had been denied. Christians often face arbitrary treatment from authorities of their home countries.
The Church of Scotland said it is disappointed the Rev Rola Sleiman is not going to be able attend annual gathering after being prevented from boarding a flight in Lebanon on Thursday.
Ms Sleiman, who is the first female Christian minister in the Aran world was earlier told in an eleventh hour move the Home Office reversed a visa ban on her visit when the British Embassy in Amman, Jordan, said that it would allow Rev Rola Sleiman, a representative of the National Evangelical (Protestant) Church of Syria and Lebanon, to travel to Scotland.
However, Very Rev Dr John Chalmers, who is Principal Clerk to the General Assembly said: “This has been a regrettable situation.
“Ms Sleiman was forced to make a two hour journey from Beirut airport to her home in Tripoli last night after being turned back by officials.
“We accept the genuine efforts Home Office officials have made in recent days to overturn the original refusal to grant Ms Sleiman a visa, and it is unfortunate that the measures put in place were not sufficient to allow Ms Sleiman to board her flight.