The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is evacuating its missionaries serving in Madagascar, the Church announced Thursday morning.
Because of an emerging outbreak of plague in Madagascar, the LDS Church chose to temporarily transfer its missionaries as a precautionary measure. Thus far, there have been no reports of illness amongst missionaries.
“Ensuring the health and safety of our missionaries is our top priority,” the LDS Church said in a statement. “In recent weeks measures have been taken to reduce risk to missionaries, including providing them with prescription medication to help prevent plague and asking them to remain in their apartments.”
Missionaries serving on the island of Madagascar — which totals 69 missionaries — are being temporarily reassigned to other missions. However, missionaries serving in the Madagascar Antananarivo Mission on the islands of Mauritius and Reunion will remain. There are 10 missionaries who are near the end of their missions that will return home with this evacuation.
“Families are being notified as the missionaries are temporarily reassigned,” the LDS Church said in a statement. “This is a very challenging situation for the missionaries, members and citizens of these countries, and we are taking every practical step to reduce risk and praying for their health and safety.”
The LDS Church received legal status in Madagascar starting on July, 13, 1993, according to Mormon Newsroom. The country has one mission — the Madagascar Antananarivo Mission — which was created on July 1, 1998. There are 11,340 members of the church in Madagascar.
Read the full announcement about the Madagascar missionary temporary transfers on mormonnewsroom.org.