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LDS volunteers detained in Russia last week to be deported

Posted at 4:18 PM, Mar 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-08 01:23:14-05

NOVOROSSIYK, Russia — Two volunteers for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who were detained in Russia last week are now waiting for their deportations to be processed.

"The young men are in good spirits, are being treated well, and are in regular contact with their mission president and their families," a statement from LDS church spokesman Eric Hawkins said. "We continue to work with local authorities in Russia and we remain hopeful these volunteers will be allowed to leave the country soon. In the meantime, we are grateful for the many offers of assistance and support expressed on their behalf.”

Both have spoken to their parents, Hawkins said, and he said the LDS Church will continue to work with local authorities and encourage the swift release of the volunteers.

The two are being referred to as "volunteers" and not "missionaries" because the term missionary is associated with proselytizing, which is no longer allowed in Russia.