Missionaries transferred from Ethiopia to Kenya due to civil unrest

Because of increased concerns about civil unrest in Ethiopia, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has temporarily moved its full-time missionaries serving in the Ethiopia Addis Ababa Mission out of the country and into neighboring Kenya.

“Sixty missionaries — including mission leaders President [Robert J.] and Sister [Darice B.] Dudfield — are temporarily being housed in Kenya,” said Church spokesman Sam Penrod in a statement released Saturday, Nov. 6.

Kenya borders Ethiopia to the south, and the Church’s Africa Central Area is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.

Missionaries of the Ethiopia Addis Ababa Mission prepare to leave Ethiopia on Nov. 5, 2021.
Missionaries of the Ethiopia Addis Ababa Mission prepare to leave Ethiopia on Nov. 5, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“Decisions concerning the 10 missionaries from Ethiopia were made to best meet the individual needs of the missionaries and their families,” Penrod said.

All missionaries will continue to serve under the direction of their mission president, and further decisions on where the missionaries will be assigned will be made as the situation in Ethiopia is evaluated, he added.

“Our prayers are with the members of the Church and the people of Ethiopia as they face these difficult and unknown circumstances.”

The Ethiopia Addis Ababa Mission, which was created in 2020, is the first mission in the landlocked nation located in the Horn of Africa. The country was previously part of the Uganda Kampala Mission.

In May of this year, Secretary General Tiguhan Kesis Tagy Tadele, head of the Interreligious Council of Ethiopia, met with the First Presidency and toured Church facilities during a two-day visit to Salt Lake City.

Tadele has also served as the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission’s peace ambassador, the apostle of peace of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Office and as board chairman of The Interreligious Council of Addis Ababa.

Missionaries of the Ethiopia Addis Ababa Mission prepare to leave Ethiopia on Nov. 5, 2021.
Missionaries of the Ethiopia Addis Ababa Mission prepare to leave Ethiopia on Nov. 5, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints