Gingrich: Congress Should Probe Denial of Entry to Iraqi Nun
May 1, 2015
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is calling for a congressional investigation of the State Department’s refusal to allow an Iraqi nun to come to Washington to talk about the persecution of Christians in her conflict-torn country.
He slammed the decision as “totally wrong.”
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax on Friday, Gingrich said he was “amazed” and “outraged” at the rejection by the U.S. Consulate in Erbil of Sister Diana Momeka’s non-immigrant-visa application.
“Congress has to investigate and find out who made this decision and what is the State Department going to do about it,” Gingrich said.
“This is an administration which never seems to find a good enough excuse to help Christians, but always finds an excuse to apologize for terrorists . . . I hope that as it gets attention that Secretary [of State John] Kerry will reverse it. If he doesn’t, Congress has to investigate, and the person who made this decision ought to be fired.”
“The idea that a nun who has the kind of endorsement she had from very serious people… who has not been given permission to come here and say and tell the truth about the war against Christianity is just totally wrong.”
One of Sister Diana’s strongest defenders, Frank Wolf of the 21st Century Wilberforce Institute and a former congressman from Virginia, told J.D. Hayworth on Newsmax Prime on Newsmax TV that he had met the nun in Iraq, and he called her “”a godly woman.”
“Something is out of control either in the White House or in the State Department,” he said.
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The nun’s plight came to light in National Review on Thursday, when Nina Shea of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom reported that Sister Diana, a member of the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Sienna, was rejected two days earlier.
Shea reported that the reason stated in the denial letter was that the nun wasn’t able to “demonstrate that your intended activities in the United States would be consistent with the classification of the visa.”
But Shea reports that consular officer Christopher Patch acknowledged that the denial was because the nun was an Internally Displaced Person, which Shea reports means the State Department didn’t think she was coming to Washington only to speak.
Gingrich blasted the rejection as “a typical bias of somebody in the State Department who doesn’t have any appreciation for protecting Christians and what is really clearly a war against Christians and Jews around the world.”
“One in every four countries right now has some kind of hostility under way,” Gingrich noted. “Churches being burned, synagogues being destroyed and people being killed. It’s amazing to me that you could have the level of insensitivity that this [rejection] suggests.”
Yet Wolf told Newsmax Prime that he thinks the issue will be resolved “because [the Obama administration is] getting so much pressure.”
“She really wants to tell the story,” Wolf said. “Eventually, in the next couple days, the administration is going to say, OK, we made a mistake, we’re going to let her in.”
Johnnie Moore, author of “Defying ISIS: Preserving Christianity in the Place of Its Birth and in Your Own Backyard,” told Newsmax Prime that Sister Diana’s story illustrates a “systemic problem.”
“She wasn’t displaced once, she was displaced twice,” he said. “She was run out of two cities, one of which is Mosul, the city that had thousands and thousands of Christians for many, many centuries, and now there are zero – zero – Christians left in Mosul.
“So, this is exhibit A of sort of just the systemic problem…. I’m kind of perturbed that we’ve had to get so many thousands of people putting pressure on so many political officials for such a very, very simple thing. It just shows you how flawed this system is.”