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Archive for Friday, February 10, 2006

Missionaries leave outposts under order

February 10, 2006

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— U.S. missionaries accused by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez of espionage have been forced from their remote outposts among jungle tribes by a government order, the final pair leaving Thursday after years of evangelical work.

The New Tribes Mission flew those two out of the rain forest to regroup with other missionaries in the eastern city of Puerto Ordaz. There they will decide what to do next: leave the country or continue with a legal battle seeking to overturn the government's order to expel them from indigenous areas by Sunday.

Most of the group's missionaries are Americans.

Since late January, nearly 40 have pulled out and headed to the group's base in Puerto Ordaz ahead of the Sunday deadline, said Marco Brito, a spokesman for the missionaries.

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