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Church responds with statement after two volunteers detained in Russia

FILE - The Church Office Building in Salt Lake City, Utah, July 18, 2008. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints released a statement Tuesday after two volunteers serving in Russia were detained by authorities.

Two young men were in a local meeting house when they were taken into custody. The church is working with the local authorities to release the men.

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

The two men have spoken with their parents as well. The church announced in 2016 that missionaries in Russia are now called volunteers as part of an initiative in the country to combat terrorism.

This story will be updated.