LDS missionaries moved out of Ethiopia as war escalates

Posted at 6:30 PM, Nov 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-06 20:30:09-04

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has moved most of its missionaries serving in Ethiopia out of the country as war and civil unrest become increasingly dangerous.

READ: United Nations report says Ethiopia's war marked by 'extreme brutality'

Ethiopia’s government declared a national state of emergency earlier this week as rival Tigray forces and allied fighters seized key cities and moved toward Addis Ababa, the Associated Press reports.

Due to "growing concerns" about the situation, a church spokesperson said 60 missionaries in the Ethiopia Addis Ababa Mission, including mission leaders President Robert Dudfield and Sister Darice Dudfield, were temporarily moved to the neighboring country of Kenya.

Missionaries of the Ethiopia Addis Ababa Mission prepare to leave Ethiopia on November 5, 2021.

The church said decisions about 10 who are from Ethiopia will be made based on what's best for "the individual needs of the missionaries and their families."

The missionaries will all continue serving under the direction of the mission president, and future decisions on where they will be assigned will be made as the situation develops.

"Our prayers are with the members of the Church and the people of Ethiopia as they face these difficult and unknown circumstances," the church's statement read.