In Peru 2012:
At the end of 2012, Peru passed a law that adds a new requirement to religious visas: being a member of an organization with 10,000 or more active members… a requirement outside the reach of almost every evangelical missionary in Peru.
This means that any new missionaries to Peru cannot obtain a religious visa and that every missionary on a religious visa will have to find a different type of visa or leave the country.
Thankfully, our family is not affected by it. Rocío is a Peruvian citizen. Our children hold dual-citizenship. And I have a family based permanent residency. However, this will affect most missionaries in Peru.
This law also affects the way churches operate legally.
There are Christians in congress trying to overturn the law. Some are trying to take the issue to the constitutional courts of Peru.
Please pray for Peru and for the believers and missionaries in Peru.
VISA UPDATE 2014:
Currently, an indefinite amount of time has been given to gather the 10,000 signatures, which means, that for the time being, religious visas are still being issued and renewed! Praise the Lord. Please keep praying for this situation. The law has not changed and the enforcement of it could change overnight. The impact of the law on church legal operations is still not clear, but should the worst case scenario play out, any churches not within the same 10,000 member organization would have no legal recognition in Peru (no bank accounts, no large meetings or events, no building permits).
VISA UPDATE 2018:
As of this year I was unable to find out what precisely happened with the “new law”. I do know that missionaries are still getting their visas renewed and new missionaries are still being granted new visas. Also, new religious non-profits are still allowed to be formed (including ours!). I still don’t know the actual status or what ended up happening to this law. Either way it all seems to be a clear answer to prayer. (If you are considering becoming a missionary to Peru, please contact us and we can point you in the right direction for your visas).
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