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Mission agency is dumbfounded by eviction order from Venezuela


SANFORD, Fla. (RNS) — A Christian missionary group being expelled from Venezuela vehemently denounced charges by President Hugo Chavez that the group is involved with the CIA.

Chavez announced in a nationally televised address on Oct. 12 that he wants to oust New Tribes Mission, a U.S.-based missionary group specializing in evangelism among indigenous groups.

The move is an attempt to purge Venezuela of U.S. “imperialist infiltration” and was based on intelligence that some of the missionaries are undercover CIA agents, Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel told reporters.

In a statement on the organization’s Web site, New Tribes denied the allegations, saying the group has had no governmental ties in its 59 years of service in the South American nation.