New Laws Restrict LDS Missionary Work In Russia

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin approved new laws that will broadly prohibit many LDS missionary-related activities, effective July 20th. Preaching, teaching or doing anything to recruit people into a religious group, will likely soon be illegal.

In order to share their religious beliefs, Russians will be required to obtain a special permit from the Russian government. Even with a permit, missionary activities will be restricted to churches and religious sites.  Not only will the new restriction affect the public scene, but people will not be allowed to share religion with people privately in their homes, nor online (via email, or websites).

UPDATE: The Church issued this statement today in response to the news: “The Church recognizes a new law will take effect in Russia on July 20, 2016 that will have an impact on missionary work. The Church will honor, sustain and obey the law. 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.” (view statement on Mormon Newsroom)

Please pray for the people of Russia.  I have a deep love for Russians- a lot of my heritage comes from the Poland/Russia area.

For more resources about LDS Missions in Russia visit:

*Read a recently published article on Christianity Today about the new laws.

10 thoughts on “New Laws Restrict LDS Missionary Work In Russia

  • Oh, how awful for the people of Russia! It’s amazing that in this enlightened day and time, censorship is so restrictive!

    • Yeah, it’s so sad. You wouldn’t think this would happen, but it did and it seems it may set a precedent for other European countries where atheism is prevalent. Especially as more terrorist attacks happen in the name of religion.

  • My stepdaughter is in the MTC now preparing for Vladivostok, Russia. So what does this mean for her?

    • That’s a great question- I’m not sure, but here’s a few guesses. It sounds like The Church is planning to keep missionaries who are already there, there. My guess is they will focus on teaching English, doing community service, teaching in the Chapels, etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the missionaries in the MTC got reassigned. They might wait to see how things play out, because there’s always a chance something could change before July 20th, or shortly after if there’s enough sentiment against the new laws. I think we might just have to wait to find out how everything will play out. That’s great your daughter is called to serve in Russia- I was called to serve in Samara, Russia back in 2008, but I was reassigned to Argentina before entering the MTC, I believe due to visa difficulties.

  • The use of the word “honor” in the press release is reflexive, from the Articles of Faith, and as energized over a century ago by the campaign to stop plural marriages. However, a law that prohibits one from teaching others about his faith is not “honorable” so long as the faith in question is not radical Islam. Christ’s mandate was to “go ye therefore and teach all nations….” It was not qualified as to those which offered religious freedom. (At the time, those were very few.) I’m not proposing that the Church demand that missionaries obey Christ’s injunction and thereby get themselves sent to jail; merely that a law that would consign them to jail is not “honorable.”

    This is probably the result of pressure by the Orthodox Church; if so, it is greatly to that institution’s dishonor.

  • Putin I am surprised you would pass this law restricting Missionary work in Russia. Here I have been praising you for your comments about Hillary and Obama and saying you were going public with Hillary’s E-mails. At least that what we got. People are wanting to know about God. There are so many people lost and when they hear it they know it’s the thruth. I was wishing you were our President instead of this loon in there now. If Hillary get to be president there will no longer be an America as we know it. It is very scary…..

  • This sounds much like the situation in Malaysia’s laws concerning proselyting when my brother served there, and yet, he had a wonderful mission and was able to share the gospel truth there. And let’s not panic, remember, our Heavenly Father is in control and we know how it ends and who wins. We have been told it is going to get a lot worse before it gets better so, what did we think was going to happen?

  • This is so heart breaking. I have a dear friend in Saint-Petersburg that I was hoping to send a Book of Mormon to. And not just to her, but her family and friends as well. Oh, this is such a bitter pill to swallow. But the right thing to do is to follow the laws of the land. That is what we believe. And of course, we will pray for the sweet people of Russia. I weep for them as I would my own family.

  • My son has just been called to serve in the Russia Moscow Mission, and he’s very excited. His mission call states: ‘During your mission you will be referred to as a volunteer.” Since the regular missionary staples of street and door contacting are out, and even talking about the gospel anywhere other than in designated religious buildings, we are very curious what “missionary work” will be like for him.

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