Mormon missionaries in Russia released after being detained
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says two of its missionaries have returned home to the U.S. after they were detained in Russia for more than two weeks for alleged visa term violations.
Church spokesman Eric Hawkins said Wednesday in a statement that the men were treated well in detention.
The 20-year-old Kole Brodowski and 19-year-old David Gaag were detained on March 1 in Novorossiisk, a Black Sea city.
A Russian court ordered their deportation after they were accused of working as English teachers without proper credentials.
The Utah-based faith had previously said it was "troubled by the circumstances" of the detention. Hawkins on Wednesday declined to answer questions about the issue.
Latter-day Saint missionaries are not allowed to legally proselytize in Russia and are called "volunteers."