Two Mormons – US citizens detained in Russia

Two U.S. citizen members of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints — were detained in the South of Russia, in the port of Novorossiysk.

This information was confirmed by the official representative of the Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova.

The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints is the largest branch of Mormonism.

The US state Department also reported that American citizens detained in Novorossiysk.

«Our main priority is to protect U.S. citizens abroad. For reasons of confidentiality we cannot provide further information at the present time», — reads the statement of the state Department.

The father of one of the detainees (name withheld) told KSL-TV that his son was detained on Friday, March 1, at the Church meetinghouse.

«I think it is a political message… but I’m not sure. And I’m too far away to understand what is happening. The mission President in the area remains in the city while my son and another volunteer will be released.»

According to preliminary information, the detainees were charged with teaching English without a license.

«But they are not taught, just played games with others in English. He’s just happy to be there, they love people and want to help them,» said the father of the detainee.

Made an official statement, a representative of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints Eric Hawkins.

«Two of our volunteers that serve in Novorossiysk, Russia, was detained by authorities when he participated in the meeting. Although we are grateful for the fact that they are well treated, we are concerned about the circumstances of their detention. We will continue to work with local authorities to quickly release the guys,» said Eric Hawkins.