The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has reassigned 30 volunteers assigned to Russian missions who are currently receiving instruction in the Provo Missionary Training Center (MTC). These volunteers will still serve Russian-speaking missions in different areas in Russia or in Eastern Europe.
“With recent changes in the law, volunteers in Russia may not proselyte publicly, but instead focus on supporting the Church and its members, and on engaging in community and humanitarian service,” said Eric Hawkins, LDS Church spokesman. “This has decreased the number of volunteers needed and has made it necessary to adjust some assignments.
“The Church continues to operate its seven missions within Russia — seeking to comply with every requirement of Russian law — and will continue to call additional volunteers as required to support the Church there.”
“The Church continues to operate its seven missions within Russia — seeking to comply with every requirement of Russian law — and will continue to call additional volunteers as required to support the Church there.” —Eric Hawkins, LDS Church spokesman
These change of assignments are from multiple missions in Russia and “are intended to place volunteers where they are needed most,” according to a press release. The changes have caused a slight decrease in volunteers in Russia. However, there are 47 volunteers currently at the MTC who will continue with their original mission assignments in Russia.
The LDS Church made some changes in July to comply with a new Russian law limiting religious organizations from proselyting. The law was created to prevent terrorism. Because of the new law, the Church has started calling missionaries “volunteers.”