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Friday, February 23, 2007
WND Misleads on Author's Visa
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The headline of a Feb. 23 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh reads, "U.S. bans book sales by missionary." It implies that the U.S. has banned the missionary's book -- in this case, Charl Van Wyk's WND-published book "Shooting Back"; in fact, it has not. (Bartholomew details Van Wyk's background here.)

Unruh's lead is similarly misleading:

The U.S. government proclaims on its visa information website that America is a "free and open society" and citizens from around the world are "welcome" to conduct business and work temporarily.

But there are exceptions -- such as Christian missionaries selling books.

At least that is what South African author Charl van Wyk, who wrote the immensely popular "Shooting Back" book about his response to an attack by Muslim terrorists on a Christian church, discovered.

In fact -- as Unruh eventually details, and even then not very clearly -- this is a visa question. Van Wyk will be traveling from South Africa to the U.S. to give a presentation at WND's News Expo 2007 and also to, in his words, "preach in churches and sell my book." But U.S. visitor visas don't allow their holders to sell things, and Van Wyk calling himself a "missionary" complicates things further.

But rather than summing up the real issue as one of paperwork -- Van Wyk doesn't hold the proper visa to do what he wants to do, and has been conducting activities not permitted under the current visa he holds -- Unruh misleadingly cast it instead as a religious freedom issue.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:19 PM EST

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