Lebanon blocks trailblazing minister's trip to Scotland
Reverend Rola Sleiman is the Arab world's first female Christian pastor.
Lebanese authorities have blocked a trailblazing minister from visiting Scotland.
Reverend Rola Sleiman was due to speak at Church of Scotland's general assembly in Edinburgh following her ordination as the Arab world's first female pastor.
Her plans were thrown into doubt last week when the Home Office barred her from entering the UK amid fears she might try to stay in the UK.
The government reversed that decision following a public outcry but upon arriving at Beirut Airport on Thursday Ms Sleiman was turned back.
It is not clear why she was not allowed to fly and it emerged on Friday that a delegate from South Sudan had also been blocked from flying to the UK.
Ms Sleiman, who leads a Christian congregation in Tripoli described the Home Office's decision to bar her as "absurd" and "humiliating".
The minister, originally from Syria, said she was "extremely grateful and thankful" for the support she received.
Dr John Chalmers, principal clerk to the general assembly, said: "We had hoped to welcome Ms Sleiman to our gathering on Saturday and hear first-hand the challenges facing the Christian community in the Middle East.
"It is a matter of real sorrow this will no longer be possible. We have also just learned our delegate from South Sudan has been refused his visa to attend.
"This is a particular disappointment to me, given the continuing efforts I am engaging in to build peace in this young and troubled nation.
"I would like to urge the Home Office to review its visa process to ensure the United Kingdom's international reputation as a place of welcome is not diminished."