The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released the following statement today about the reassignments of some of its volunteers called to Russia:
The Church has reassigned 30 volunteers in the Provo Missionary Training Center (MTC) who were originally called to serve in Russia. These volunteers were reassigned to serve in different missions in Russia or to other Russian-speaking missions in Eastern Europe. The remaining 47 volunteers currently in the MTC will proceed to their originally assigned missions in Russia.
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. 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.
These assignment changes involve volunteers from multiple missions in Russia and are intended to place volunteers where they are needed most. It does represent a slight decrease in the number of volunteers serving in Russia.
Note: Due to the new laws, missionaries serving in the country are now to be referred to as volunteers.