Islamabad, Pakistan (Thursday, 07-02-2015, Gaudium Press) “We do not know why we were denied the renewal of our visas. Our work is always the same, that of education, for the benefit of the youth in Pakistan, of all religions. But we cannot stay in a country if we are considered illegal”. This is what Philippine Sister Delia Coyoca Rubio, head teacher of the “Convent School” in Islamabad says to Agenzia Fides with regards to the situation she is going through. Sister Delia together with Sister Miraflor Aclan Bahan and Sister Elizabeth Umali Sequenza, sisters of the congregation of the “Religious of the Virgin Mary”, founded by Philippine Mother Ignacia del Espiritu Santo, received a “negative response” from the Interior Ministry, after presenting the usual request for renewal of visas to live and work in Pakistan.
The reasons for the refusal seem to be a “change of work” compared to the initial request made. Sister Delia says: “Our educational institution has been opened since 1992. I have been here since 2006 and our work has always been the same: to organize the school and teach. We have 2,300 young people in a campus, and 1,000 in the second school: children and young people of all religions and social classes. Ours is a service to education, for the common good of Pakistan”.The sisters apply for visa renewal every two years in April. They were waiting for a reply in June. The Ministry of Interior has made inquiries and sent inspectors. A few days ago they received a letter informing about the negative response of the request.
The Church in Islamabad is close to the religious nuns. Bishop Rufin Anthony sent a letter to the Interior Ministry asking for an explanation. The issue will be examined by the High Court in Islamabad. If the nuns have to leave Pakistan, the Convent School in Islamabad, center of excellence of educational institutions of the city, everything will have to be reorganized, even if class teachers are almost all Pakistanis.
Source Fides News Agency