Church adjusts missionary assignments due to COVID-19 concerns
Mar 6, 2020, 12:58 PM | Updated: Mar 12, 2020, 8:58 am
(Credit Church Newsroom)
SALT LAKE CITY– The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Friday that all church missionaries that are serving in Korea who are not native to Korea will be temporarily reassigned in their home countries according to a release.
This is the third country the church has removed non-native missionaries from, the other two being Hong Kong and Mongolia.
The announcement was made as part of the church’s efforts to keep those missionaries safe from the spreading COVID-19 virus, and in addition to the reassignments, they have also suspended its business and missionary travel.
“The Church is taking steps to reduce the number of missionaries in areas where the virus is of particular concern,” the church says.
Missionaries in both Korea and Mongolia who were near the end of their volunteer assignments, as well as those who had chronic health problems will be finishing their service early.
Missionaries who have recently received their calls to countries that have been affected most heavily by the virus have begun to also see their start dates postponed or have recieved new assignments.
All missionaries that are returning to their home countries are being asked to self-quarantine for a time before they are temporarily reassigned.
These changes come in addition to a number of restrictions that the church has implemented in a number of Asian countries.
“We wish to be good global citizens and do what we can to limit the spread of this disease,” they said in a statement last week. “We also want to relieve concerns of our leaders, members and their families related to the uncertainties of travel at this time.”
Several of the faith’s temples in Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Italy have also been closed to patrons.
They have also asked that members from outside the United States to not travel to Salt Lake for the faith’s general conference in April.
“We are grateful for the many expressions of support and concern that have been shared,” church leaders said in a statement. “The church will continue to follow developments closely and make any further adjustments as needed. We continue to pray for all those impacted by the virus.”