Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Policies Change. Thankfully, God never does!


A huge "Thank You!" to so many who have called and e-mailed wanting an update on the political situation in Peru. We have received a few more details about the new law that went into affect January 18th, concerning the annual visas for foreign missionaries. One of the reasons that we have not been able to give an update before now is that it seemed impossible to get a clear understanding of what this new law even said, because the laws were changing, on what seemed like, a daily basis. As many of you know, this situation is a common occurrence in many foreign countries.

As of right now, we know that this new law requires religious entities to register or re-register with the Justice department, if they want to obtain or maintain religious residency visas. There are now thirteen requirements in order to obtain these visas, one of which states that we must "mention" a minimum of 10,000 followers. At first, we thought that the interpretation meant that Baptist Mid-Missions needed 10,000 missionaries in the country, which is impossible; however, we have now learned this is not the correct interpretation of the law. The current missionaries on the field have submitted the re-registration paperwork, which included a broad interpretation of this law. The missionaries did extensive research on the history of Baptist MId-Missions within the country and counted the number of total spiritual descendants of BMM's works in Peru during the last 75 years. This number surpassed 20,000 believers, which we hope to be sufficient. As one missionary currently on the field explained, "We are praying that Justice would decide favorably for BMM." We should have an answer around February 25th and will update you when we know more details. 




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