A few weeks ago six missionaries were detained by local authorities in the Russia Samara mission. In light of the recent new law affecting missionaries in Russia, Church official Eric Hawkins released the following statement:
“Approximately two weeks ago, six volunteers from the Russia Samara Mission were detained by local authorities for a brief period, seeking information about the status of their visas. They were released few hours later. Three of the volunteers have been reassigned to another Russian-speaking mission outside of the country because of technicalities related to their visas.”
Russia recently enacted a new law aimed at combatting terrorism restricting the ability of religious organizations, like the LDS Church to preach anywhere but inside houses of worship.
Because of this law, missionaries in Russia are now actually called “volunteers” and the Church made an official statement, saying, “The Church will honor, sustain and obey the law. Missionaries will remain in Russia and will work within the requirements of these changes. The Church will further study and analyze the law and its impact as it goes into effect.”