Leaders from two lobbyist groups, the Secular Coalition for America and Rights Equal Rights, have requested the Secretary of State and Attorney General investigate how The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints obtains visas for missionaries serving overseas.
Originally reported by the Deseret News, the groups allege LDS senator Gordon Smith and Church Seventy Ralph Hardy Jr. may have received “favors” from foreign governments. Larry Decker, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America told Deseret News, “There are a lot of people who would say that this is an attack on the church. It’s not on the attack on people’s faith. It’s wanting to make sure we’re getting to the bottom and making sure money’s being spent appropriately and legally in this country.”
The groups wrote the letter after a briefing video was leaked in October 2016 by MormonLeaks. The video has Smith stating how he secured 200 visas for LDS missionaries from the Indian ambassador to the United States.
The letter sent by the lobbyist groups states the Church may be in violation of the Logan Act. However, many officials responding to the letter state the claim as far-fetched. You can learn more here at Deseret News.
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.