ALL NEWS

Hope for Church volunteers detained in Russia

Mar 7, 2019, 5:10 AM

SALT LAKE CITY — The Russian government is denying knowledge of two volunteers for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints being detained in the country.

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters in Moscow that they don’t have any information, and that journalists should contact the “relevant authorities” for more information.

It is happening in the city of Novorossiysk, a city on the Black Sea, and experts say it will most likely continue to be handled by local authorities. Which Deseret News Opinion Editor Boyd Matheson

The laws are pretty strict in Russia, for example, that’s why Church missionaries are called volunteers.

BYU-Idaho student Cody Watterson served in that very mission from July 2014 to July 2016, with the last few months of his mission in the same city. He says missionaries or volunteers being detained was pretty common, but not for this long.

“The fact that they’ve been held for a couple of days is surprising,” he told KSL Newsradio live on Wednesday morning.

“The main one, was Russian law allows for any police officer to detain someone for up to three hours to verify their identity. So the big one we got detained for when I was there, was officers would take us to the police station to verify our documents,” he said.

Watterson says he has full confidence in the Church’s legal team and that they’ll be able to get things worked out.

So does former Utah State Representative Ronda Menlove. She served in the Europe East Area for the Church when the laws changed in Russia in July 2016.

“Their feeling was, they didn’t want terrorist groups recruiting in their country, which we can understand.” But the law extended to religious groups as well.

“Our name was changed, and we were not able to speak to people on the street or distribute material on the street to get people to come to church,” she said.

For what it’s worth, Watterson says the city they are in is beautiful. It’s a port city by the black sea about 900 miles south of Moscow.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

President Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union address during a joint meeting of Congress in t...
Oliver Darcy, CNN Business

27 million watched Biden’s second SOTU address, in big viewership decline from last year

(CNN) — An estimated 27.3 million people watched President Joe Biden’s 2023 State of the Union address on Tuesday night, according to Nielsen, a 29% decline in viewership from Biden’s first address when more than 38 million tuned in. According to Nielsen’s measurement, 73% of the audience was aged 55 and older, with only 5% of viewers aged […]
7 hours ago
The Utah Black History Museum is making its way around the state to promote an appreciation and und...
Waverly Golden

Utah’s part in Black history, traveling exhibit helps educate

The Utah Black History Museum is making its way around the state to promote an appreciation and understanding of Black history in Utah. 
7 hours ago
Carrier at USPS mail truck, USPS is holding a job fair...
Mark Jones

Authorities looking for suspect who allegedly robbed post office employee

Authorities are searching for an individual who allegedly robbed an post office employee on Tuesday.
1 day ago
Changes could be coming to all elementary schools in the Salt Lake City School District....
Mark Jones

Possible changes to schools could be coming in Salt Lake City School District

Changes could be coming to all elementary schools in the Salt Lake City School District.
1 day ago
A 31-year-old man was taken into custody Wednesday in connection to a bank robbery earlier in the d...
Mark Jones

Bank robbery suspect taken into custody by Salt Lake City police

A 31-year-old man was taken into custody Wednesday in connection to a bank robbery earlier in the day.
1 day ago
Utah 2022 legislative session...
Lindsay Aerts

Count My Vote threatens ballot initiative to protect signature path to primary ballot if new bill passes

SALT LAKE CITY — A new war is brewing over signature gathering.  The citizens initiative group that ushered in Utah’s decade-old compromise creating a dual path for candidates to get on the primary election ballot — which includes signature gathering, the caucus convention system or both — is threatening to launch a statewide ballot initiative […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

This article about skijoring is sponsored by the Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau. Participate in Skijoring the Bear on February 20th, 2023.  What is skijoring? Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and […]
Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Hope for Church volunteers detained in Russia