Russia to Deport Two American Mormons Arrested at Church Under Recent Law Banning Evangelism

Kole Brodowski, an American member of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from Garden Grove, California, is seen in an undated Facebook photo.

Two Americans affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were arrested in Russia and will soon be deported back to the U.S., their lawyer says.

Russian attorney Sergey Gliznutsa told CBS News that Kole Brodowski and another unidentified volunteer were arrested while they were teaching English at a church in Southern Russia.

He went on to explain that the deportation order was given earlier this week, but because of a national holiday, Brodowski and the other man will likely not be released and deported until sometime next week.

Russia has barred foreign missionaries from evangelizing in that country, but the LDS Church maintained that the two Americans fit the definition of “volunteer” and were not violating any laws.

Eric Hawkins, a spokesman for the LDS Church, said in a statement that he was concerned about the decision by authorities to detain and deport the two Americans.

“While we are grateful these young men are reportedly in good condition and are being treated well, we are troubled by the circumstances surrounding their detention,” said Hawkins, according to Fox News.

“They have both spoken to their parents. We will continue to work with local authorities, and encourage the swift release of these volunteers.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski