Guest / Limited Access /

Today's Yesterday's Top Five

(Sorry for the delay in the posting. We'll try to post Wednesday stories by early this afternoon.)

1. Report: More than a third of religious worker visas fraudulent
Remember when the U.S. government banned Finnish theologian Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen from returning to his post at Fuller Seminary and revoked his "special immigrant religious worker" visa? Those visas might be a lot harder to come by very soon. The Boston Globe reports that the Department of Homeland Security

found numerous instances in which groups in the United States falsely claimed to be churches, and visa applicants lied about their religious vocations in order to get into the country. More than a third of the visas examined by investigators were based on fraudulent information. … The probe found a particularly high fraud rate among applicants from countries the government deemed to pose a security risk, such as Egypt, Algeria, Pakistan, Syria and Iraq, the report found. There were 11 applications for people from special-risk countries among the 220 petitions that were audited—and 8 of those 11 were fraudulent, it said.

Catholics quoted in the story are worried that curtailing or reforming the visa system could add even more hurdles for the church's bringing in foreign priests to fill many vacant pulpits. But Stewart Baker, assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Homeland Security, told the Globe that at the very least, the department needs to step up investigations.

"There is way too much fraud in this program," he told the Globe. "One of the things we need to do is go there more often and actually check that it is a real institution, because unfortunately one form of fraud is to say 'I have a storefront ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueFaith and the Arts: A Fragile Friendship
Subscriber Access Only
Faith and the Arts: A Fragile Friendship
Churchgoers are willing to embrace fine art, but artists don't know if they want to claim the church.
RecommendedI Forgave My Teen Daughter’s Killer
I Forgave My Teen Daughter’s Killer
The gospel taught me that forgiveness is not a pardon.
TrendingNicole Cliffe: How God Messed Up My Happy Atheist Life
Nicole Cliffe: How God Messed Up My Happy Atheist Life
I had no untapped, unanswered yearnings. All was well in the state of Denmark. And then it wasn’t.
Editor's PickJust a Vessel: Actor Malachi Kirby on ‘Roots,’ Kunta Kinte, and God
Just a Vessel: Actor Malachi Kirby on ‘Roots,’ Kunta Kinte, and God
The star of the History Channel's "Roots" talks about his faith, his strange route toward his iconic role, and what he learned from playing Kunta Kinte.
Christianity Today
Homeland Security Says 'Way Too Much Fraud' in Religious Visa ...
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

July 2006

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.