Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Local LDS Organization On Sakhalin Island In Russia Faces Administrative Sanction For Teaching English Without A License

The Russian website Fedpress (stories are in English) reports on September 16th, 2009 that the local unit of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Sakhalin may face some administrative sanctions because assigned missionaries were teaching locals English without the appropriate license. Here's the short report from the website:

Prosecution service of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk has completed investigation of activities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The LDS Church, also known as Mormon Church, was officially registered as a religious organization in Sakhalin in 2000.

It has been running English-language classes for people by American missionaries. Although the classes have been free-of-charge, the church didn’t have proper license to run this kind of educational courses. The case has been forwarded to the magistrate court of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk to decide upon the punishment for this administrative charge.

It is unlikely any penalty other than a fine would be imposed. But, coupled with the documentation situation in Guyana, it's a reminder that as the LDS Church continues to grow, it will continue to confront an increasingly diverse amount of rules and regulations anywhere its sets foot throughout the world.

As of the end of 2008, the LDS Church officially reports that there are 19,946 members of the Church in Russia, scattered among 129 congregations. In late May-early June 2009, President Dieter Uchtdorf and Apostle Neil Andersen visited Eastern Europe, including Samara, Yekaterinburg, and Moscow on their itinerary. They received a particularly enthusiastic welcome in Yekaterinburg.

No comments: