From The Church Times
The president of the Boys' Brigade plans to ask the Government why almost half the international delegates invited to a 50th-anniversary conference in London were refused visas to enter the UK.
Lord Griffiths of Burry Port, who is also Superintendent Minister at Wesley's Chapel, in central London, said: "It's just crazy; many of these people have been here before without any problem." He intends to use his position as a Labour peer to raise the case in the House of Lords. He also hopes to enlist support among MPs.
The week-long conference, which ends tomorrow, was organised by the Global Fellowship of Christian Youth, which evolved from the Boys' Brigade. It invited 120 youth leaders from around the world, but all 49 African delegates had their visa applications rejected by the UK Border Agency (UKBA). They include the Boys' Brigade national secretaries of Cameroon (who is a Baptist minister) and of Kenya, and the Rwandan Girls' Brigade president.
Despite guarantees that their fares were paid, and expenses and accommodation covered, UKBA officials said that there was not enough supporting evidence. The agency further claimed that it was not satisfied that they intended to leave the UK at the end of their visit.
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