On the Site:


Father Of Church Volunteer Detained In Russia Working To Understand Situation

Mar 5, 2019, 5:59 PM | Updated: 10:21 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — KSL TV’s Ashley Moser spoke Tuesday with the father of one of the church volunteers currently detained in a Russian prison.

KSL is not naming the father or his son at this time.

Two volunteers for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints serving in Novorossiyk, Russia were detained Friday in a church meetinghouse.

The father said this is a strange situation for his son, his family and the church.

“I’m just thinking there is a political message involved… but I don’t really know what it is. And I’m too far away to know what it is or to really understand anything.”

He said the mission president in the area is staying in town until the two volunteers are released from custody.

He told KSL the charge by officials was teaching English without a license, but he says the two were in a church meetinghouse just playing games with others in English, not teaching.

He said his son and the other volunteer love the people there, despite the situation.

“They are just so excited to be there and they love the people… they just want nothing more than to help them,” he said.

Responding to media requests, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spokesman Eric Hawkins issued a statement after two of their volunteers serving in Novorossiyk, Russia were detained Friday in a church meetinghouse.

The church is working with local authorities towards a release of the volunteers.

Two of our volunteers serving in Novorossiyk, Russia were detained by authorities Friday evening while engaged in a meeting at a local meetinghouse. 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. They have both spoken to their parents. We will continue to work with local authorities and encourage the swift release of these volunteers.
-Eric Hawkins, Church Spokesman

In 2016 the church began calling missionaries serving in Russia volunteers, due to a new Russian law aimed at fighting terrorism.


KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Fingerprint samples...

Sarah Dewberry, CNN

Rock climbers found her body buried in rural Nevada over 26 years ago. Authorities just revealed her identity

Over 26 years after a woman’s body was discovered buried beneath a pile of rocks in rural Nevada, authorities have announced her identity.

42 minutes ago

Demetrius Omar Lateef (Bull Stock Media)...

Emily Ashcraft, KSL.com 

Judge allows woman charged with murdering professional bull rider to be released on bail

A woman accused of murdering a professional bull rider was released on bail.

50 minutes ago

Wasatch back at,
Smith and Morehouse Reservoir 
Jordanelle Reservoir (Scott Taylor)...

Eliza Pace

Utah’s water: What’s our current standing with drought and reservoirs?

Utah's water experts say the state's conditions present a mixed picture of hope and caution.

1 hour ago

The inversion as seen from Salt Lake City on Nov. 29, 2023. (Jack Grimm, KSL TV)...


A storm and inversion relief is on its way to Utah

People should be able to breathe a little bit easier this weekend. A major winter storm is expected to dump snow all over Northern Utah and clear out the nasty air.

2 hours ago

One man was killed by being ejected from a vehicle in a rollover crash Dec. 11, 2019. Brennan Kinla...

Pat Reavy, KSL.com

Arizona man charged after fatal crash in Utah nearly 4 years ago

An arrest warrant has been issued for an Arizona man accused of causing a fatal crash about four years ago near the Utah-Colorado border.

2 hours ago

(Photo: Snowbasin Resort)...

Karah Brackin

Snowbasin Resort kicks off its 83rd season

More Utah resorts opened for the year on Thursday, including Snowbasin Resort in Ogden, which kicked off its 83rd winter season.

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

Father Of Church Volunteer Detained In Russia Working To Understand Situation