Fewer Mormon Missionaries in Russia Due to New Law
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Mormon church officials are decreasing the number of missionaries being sent to Russia as part of a series of adjustments because of a new Russian anti-terrorism law.
Church spokesman Eric Hawkins said Monday that 30 missionaries in training in Utah will instead go to other Russian-speaking missions in Eastern Europe. Forty-seven will still go to Russia as planned. The move marks the latest change made by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the law earlier this summer that puts restrictions on religious practices.
Previously, the faith announced its missionaries there would be known as "volunteers" and would refrain from proselytizing publicly to comply with the law. In early August, six missionaries were detained for several hours by local Russian police over visa issues. Three were sent to other countries.