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Religion | IN BRIEF

Lutheran Groups Cut Refugee Services

November 16, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

Restrictions on immigration since Sept. 11 and a drop in donations have led Lutherans to make extensive cuts in one of their programs for refugees and newcomers to the United States.

The Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service eliminated 14 jobs and froze salaries last month to stabilize the agency's finances.

Before the restructuring, the agency employed about 70 people at the national office in Baltimore and in other parts of the country.

The ministry is supported by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Annie Wilson, a top administrator of the immigration agency, said about 80% of her ministry's budget comes from the federal government and, since the number of refugees is down by thousands because of the terrorist attacks, federal funding has been reduced as well.

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