LDS Missionaries’ Actions To Be Restricted In Russia; Church Responds

LDS Church Announces Change In Missionary Dress Code
Missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Photo: Intellectual Reserve

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, July 9, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will restrict missionary work in Russia after a new law in that country that limits proselytizing.

The law prohibits “sharing faith in homes, online, or anywhere but recognized church buildings” according to Christianity Today.The LDS Church released a prepared statement on the news.

“The Church recognizes a new law will take effect in Russia on July 20, 2016 that will have an impact on missionary work,” it said. “The Church will honor, sustain and obey the law.

“Missionaries will remain in Russia and will work within the requirements of these changes,” the faith’s statement said. “The Church will further study and analyze the law and its impact as it goes into effect.”

The law, signed Thursday by Pres. Vladimir Putin as part of a counter-terrorism effort, severely limits religious missionary activities. People who  preach, pray or disseminate materials in private residences can be deported and fined as much as $15,000 under the new law.

The new measures, which take effect July 20, also open the door for increased social media and phone surveillance, and adds punishment for online extremism.

LDS missionaries have worked in Russia since the early 1990s. The LDS Church as more than 22,000 members in Russia, according to Mormon Newsroom.


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