|A Lutheran Church in Papua New Guinea Photo credit: elcpng.org|
Papua New Guinea has banned three American missionaries of the Lutheran Church from conducting their missionary work in Enga Province.
PNG's Chief Migration Officer Mataio Rabura said Jan Luedtke was banned from entering the country to join her husband Todd, the chaplain at the Highlands Lutheran International School in Wapenamanda.
Rabura said two other missionaries – Julie and Anton Lutz – who were already in the country had been ordered to leave.
“They are still in the country against lawful orders,” he said.
Enga Governor Sir Peter Ipatas had raised his concern over the ban on the missionaries.
“You have non-English speaking expatriates with questionable characters entering this country. But you cannot allow a woman who is over 60 years old to enter the country on a dependency visa. What security threats will Jan pose to this country?”
Sir Peter said Luedtke had applied for a dependency visa at the PNG foreign mission in Washington to join her husband at the school in September last year.
“But she was advised that she was placed on a red alert category not to enter PNG. She has not been advised why she was banned. The Luedtkes were missionary teachers in Enga before PNG became independent in 1975.
“They taught me, Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Rimbink Pato, Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia and other prominent Enga leaders.”
Sir Ipatas believes that the ban could have something to do with the dispute in the Gutnius Lutheran Church hierarchy between Head Bishop David Piso and his former deputy Nickodemus Aiyane.