According to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the two Latter-day Saint volunteers arrested last week will be deported from Russia.
The local Russian police arrested the two volunteers during a church meeting, reportedly for teaching English. They have been detained in Novorossiyak since then, according to a Church spokesman.
“Many people have reached out regarding the status of our two volunteers in Russia. At this time, they remain in custody while their deportation is being processed. The young men are in good spirits, are being treated well, and are in regular contact with their mission president and their families,” said Church spokesman Eric Hawkins.
“We continue to work with local authorities in Russia and we remain hopeful these volunteers will be allowed to leave the country soon. In the meantime, we are grateful for the many offers of assistance and support expressed on their behalf.”
In the court hearing on Saturday, the volunteers were represented by attorneys provided by the church. In the hearing, the father of one of the volunteers said they were detained because officials believed they were teaching English. The volunteers responded by saying they were holding a regularly scheduled game night in English.
“An apparent agreement to have them surrender their visas and leave the country did not materialize, which likely means the two men will remain in detention through the week,” according to Deseret News.