Church temporarily moves missionaries out of Ukraine due to political, military tensions

With ongoing uncertainties and political tensions in Ukraine, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is temporarily reassigning full-time missionaries assigned to both the Ukraine Dnipro and Ukraine Kyiv/Moldova missions to locations outside of Ukraine.

The announcement came in a Monday, Jan. 24, statement from Church spokesman Sam Penrod.

“The decision is made out of an abundance of caution, as some government embassies in Ukraine are preparing to move certain personnel and their family members,” Penrod said.

Many of the missionaries are being reassigned to missions in Europe, while some will serve in Moldova, which is away from potential conflict areas. A few missionaries who are approaching their planned release dates will complete their service and return home, he added, while those recently called to Ukraine will receive a temporary assignment elsewhere.

“We pray for a peaceful resolution to the tensions in Ukraine and look forward to when the missionaries may return,” Penrod said.

The move is similar to a temporary relocation in early November of the Ethiopia Addis Ababa Mission to neighboring Kenya because of increased civil unrest in Ethiopia.

A military buildup at the Ukraine-Russia border has ramped up crisis talks among international leaders, with those talks remaining at an impasse. On Sunday, Jan. 23, the United States State Department recommended that all U.S. citizens in Ukraine depart the country promptly.

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