About 120 Lutheran Indonesians in Denver,
Seattle, New York and Los Angeles face possible deportation. They are
members of four ELCA "affiliate" congregations that are part of the
Huria Kristen Batak Protestan (Protestant Christian Batak Church).
James Hytjan, the Division for Outreach's mission director in the Rocky Mountain Synod, said most of the parishioners came to the United States seeking economic opportunity, fleeing religious persecution or as students. Some overstayed their visas and have been in the United States for up to 10 years.
Since implementation earlier this year of the Homeland Security Act, males over age 16 from predominantly Muslim countries must complete a special registration process. Indonesian Lutherans are no exception. They must register with the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, one of the agencies replacing the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
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