Thursday, July 10, 2008

Church Stops Issuing Russian Mission Calls

According to BYU NewsNet, the Church has suspended mission calls to serve in Russia's eight missions for North American Missionaries. Church spokesman Rob Howell said that all of the missions are fully functioning, if not overstaffed. There are a couple other factors that likely influenced the decision.
  1. Visas are becoming increasingly more difficult to obtain. Missionaries have had to travel to neighboring countries to renew their visas. This would require several days to complete and was expensive.
  2. The number of converts has declined in recent years. When the Church first went into Russia in the early 1990s, many converts joined the Church. Today the Church's growth is comparable to other Western European countries despite the fact that eight missions are in the country.
  3. It would be easier for missionaries to serve in Russia who either are from Russia or other neighboring countries. Hence the announcement was only for North American missionaries. North American missionaries, however, form the bulk of the missionary force in Russia.

Aspects of the preaching of the Gospel are going forth in Russia. New branches have been created recently. Some districts are close to maturing into stakes and it is likely more districts will be created where there are not any currently. Hopefully any problems will be resolved with the government and visas so missionaries can continue to proselyte in the 9th most populated country in the world.


JonErik said...

Since the BYU Newsnet deleted the story from their webpage the day after it was issued, do you think that it was incorrect in what it was reporting? Perhaps some reporter got it wrong and there may be a retraction coming soon. We would be interested in hearing "the rest of the story".

Olya C said...

Good point. I wanted to read that article and couldn’t find the whole thing anywhere. However, I wouldn't be surprised if what in article was true. In the last few Russian Liahonas published, all Russian missionaries will serve in Russia, no one goes outside. May be it is a good idea to have only Russian missionaries there, since 10 years ago, many were baptized there only to get humanitarian help and check out some American boys. After help stopped and missionaries left, branches (in Moscow) lost a significant number of members.

Justin said...

BYU's NewsNet archive of the story is no longer available. You can see Google's cached copy of the story at: