A Fijian pastor was deported yesterday by the Vanuatu Immigration Services and the Vanuatu Police Force (VPF), both of which are under the jurisdiction of the Vanuatu Interpol Unit. On May 30th, 2022, Ishmael Kalsakau, as Minister of Internal Affairs and Internal Affairs, signed Pastor Jone Isireli’s Removal Order

Authorities detained the Pastor on board a rented plane that arrived in Tanna early yesterday. Port Vila was the final stop before he boarded a connecting flight to Fiji.

Pr Isireili served as a Missionary in Vanuatu in 2015, according to information provided to the Daily Post. Special Category Visa allowed him to stay in Vanuatu for the duration of his trip. Isireli founded the Evergreen International Church on the island of Tanna.

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Immigration Department received information that a Fijian Missionary was lobbying against vaccination among the members of his church and the residents of Tanna.

The government of Vanuatu has invested a great deal of time and money to guarantee that all of the country’s eligible population is vaccinated. When it comes to COVID-19, the federal government also respects an individual’s decision.

Church services continued to be used by Pastor Isireli to organise and host public events. As Tanna was under COVID-19 Alert Level 3, this was not permitted.

The Fijian pastor ignored warnings from police and immigration officers and continued to hold church services despite the Minister of Health’s health orders.

A letter from the TAFEA Christian Council to Immigration was written during the Pastor’s stay in Tanna, according to Immigration Director Jeffrey Markson. Pastor Isireli was issued a Residency Visa in 2021 to replace the Special Category Visa because he was in Vanuatu to proclaim the Gospel, Mr. Markson explained. A work visa was also provided to him, Markson claims.

In Mr. Markson’s view, the pastor might have done the right thing by just observing what Vanuatu’s Minister of Health issued for the protection of its citizens.

It was reaffirmed that the Minister of Health’s orders must be followed by all citizens and visitors to Vanuatu, regardless of their nationality.

The country’s rules must be abided by by all visitors.

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