Christian student threatened with deportation

Wednesday, June 04, 2008 |  staff writer

Barbara Ludwig, 32, is on the brink of leaving for good the country she has come to love. Ludwig, a believing student from Germany was threatened with deportation by the Ministry of Interior after being denied a student visa since 2004.

In 1998, Ludwig came as a tourist to Israel. Shortly after she enrolled at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and earned her Bachelors degree in philosophy then went on to pursue her Masters.

Ludwig’s legal troubles began in 2004 when she was taken in for an illegal interrogation and asked questions about her faith. Since then she has been repeatedly denied a student visa. The Ministry of Interior cites her alleged involvement in missionary activity even though it is not illegal to proselytize anyone over 18 years old. Ludwig denies the charges.

Ludwig was arrested on April 28 and taken to a prison near Tel Aviv where she was held at least one month.

The Jerusalem Institute of Justice (JIJ), headed by lawyer Calev Myers, submitted a petition to the District Court for Ludwig to legally remain in Israel until a final decision could be made in her case. The JIJ demanded her immediate release from prison.

For now, her case is pending, but should the courts rule against Ludwig she could be deported back to Germany and would not be allowed to return to Israel.

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