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Mormon missionaries will remain in Russia despite the country’s new anti-terrorism law, which will put greater restrictions on religious work starting later this month.
In a statement issued Friday, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said that missionaries will respect a measure that Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law this week.
“The church will honor, sustain and obey the law,” the church said. “The church will further study and analyze the law and its impact as it goes into effect.”
Starting July 20, missionary workers will be working under more stringent rules. They include a requirement that missionary work be done by people affiliated with registered organizations. Missionaries and organizations caught praying and disseminating materials in private residences could be subject to fines. They range from $780 per missionary and $15,500 for an organization.
Furthermore, religious work can only be done in houses of worship and other related religious sites. Critics say this aspect is way too restrictive. It would mean no Mormons could share their faith online or in a home to which they have been invited.
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