SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, May 22, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement Tuesday saying church officials are working to transfer more than half of the missionaries serving in Nicaragua out of the country.
A total of 169 missionaries out of 327 in Nicaragua will be transferred, the statement said.
“Due to growing political instability in Nicaragua, the Church is in the process of transferring 169 missionaries out of that country,” the statement said.
“This includes 37 missionaries from the Nicaragua Managua North Mission, all of whom were nearing the end of their service and will return home. In the Nicaragua Managua South Mission, 20 missionaries will return home, while 112 missionaries will be temporarily reassigned to other missions in North America, South America and the Caribbean.”
All 158 missionaries remaining in Nicaragua are being moved to areas that are safe, officials said.
“The Church will continue to closely monitor conditions and developments in Nicaragua,” the statement concludes. “We pray for the people there as they navigate this difficult time in their country.”
At least 76 people have been killed and nearly 900 wounded during a month of protests that were often violently repressed by police and government groups, CBS News reported Tuesday. Edison Lanzas, the commission’s freedom of expression rapporteur, said that the government had confirmed the death toll.
The unrest began with large demonstrations in mid-April to protest changes to the social security system.
In April, investigative journalist Carlos Fernando Chamorro told CBS the country was undergoing “worst political crisis” in its history. “This has been a bloodbath,” he said.