Since ancient times, Christian missionaries throughout the world have practiced a trade while preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. For example, Paul is listed as making tents in the book of Acts in order to be self-supporting. But some Christian missionaries receive their incomes from generous donation networks, typically from their home nation. Because they are technically considered as sponsored by an organization, it’s claimed by Calvary Chapel pastors that the government in England is currently deporting the suddenly redefined “jobless” missionaries from the country by changing their immigrant status.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, some Christian pastors are making 2015 predictions based upon the upcoming blood moon Tetrad and Pope Francis’ first visit to the United States.
In the past, when you heard news of governments threatening to deport Christian missionaries, typically it’s nations like North Korea or China that are in the headlines. But recently the UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) office has been targeting Christian organizations in England, and they even revoked Wycliffe Bible Translators’ sponsorship license.
Mark Vening, a missionary at YWAM (Youth With A Mission), says that immigration concerns caused them to become a target and their sponsorship paperwork was audited.
“The British government has said they want to reduce immigration by one third. So they are going to have to find organizations that currently have licenses and potentially take them away in order to meet that target,” Vening said according to Christianity Today. “We wonder whether or not faith-based organizations are providing perhaps a soft target for that.”
YWAM managed to clear up their issue with England’s immigration office, but Pastor Steve Vickery of Calvary Chapel Cardiff, claims the English government is still targeting Christian missionaries for deportation.
“On the 8th January, we received some unexpected and quite shocking news concerning the visa status of some Calvary Chapel missionaries serving in the UK. The UK Government’s Visa & Immigration (UKVI) department informed Calvary Chapel York that they were revoking their visa sponsorship license with immediate effect and with no right of appeal. This decision leaves 19 Calvary Chapel missionaries and their families without a valid sponsor, and facing the prospect of having to leave the UK.”
According to Vickery, the UKVI had previously told Calvary Chapel to designate their Christian missionaries in England as “supernumary,” which is used “to describe someone coming to the UK to work a job that wouldn’t exist if they weren’t there.” Despite making this recommendation, the UKVI is now reinterpreting this status as meaning the Christian missionaries are supposedly taking a job that could potentially be filled by a UK worker.
Why the sudden shift toward targeting Christian missionaries? Vickery believes UK politics is a factor.
“It appears that the UK Government is trying to reduce the number of immigrants in the country ahead of the General Election in May. Immigration is a political hot topic in the UK at the moment, and Christian Missionaries, who don’t fit neatly into orthodox categories, seem to have been a particular (easy) target.”
The Christian missionaries in England are currently scrambling to figure out what to do since they were given only 60 days to comply with immigration law. The only options given to these families are to find a new sponsor or to apply for expensive new visas, which for some means having to leave England in order to meet the requirements. The law also requires the missionary “job” to be advertised locally in order to prove there is no one more suitable who is a citizen of England.
What do you think about the UKVI deporting Christian missionaries in England?