Russian law renames missionaries

A new Russian law may affect The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ missionary work in the country.

Elders and sisters serving in Russia will be known as volunteers rather than missionaries, according to Deseret News.

“The change is in response to a new Russian law aimed at combatting terrorism — but one that also restricts religious organizations in the country,” according to Deseret News.

The new law also restricts other religions, and it requires that all proselyting happens inside of houses of worship, according to Deseret News.

The Church released a statement about the new law, on Friday, July 8, saying they are aware of the new changes, according to Mormon Newsroom.

“The Church will honor, sustain and obey the law,” said the statement, according to Mormon Newsroom. “Missionaries will remain in Russia and will work within the requirements of these changes. The Church will further study and analyze the law and its impact as it goes into effect.”

The new law will take effect on July 20, 2016, according to Mormon Newsroom.

“In the 25 years since the LDS Church was first established in Russia, missionary efforts have helped the faith grow to more than 22,000 members who participate in 100 congregations throughout the country,” according to Deseret News.

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