By Deseret News
​Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

A Russian high court ruled Thursday that authorities violated the constitutional rights of two young Mormon volunteers when they expelled the men from the country last year.
​The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation ruled that Elder Nathanael Worden of San Antonio, Texas, and Elder Drake Oldham of North Logan, had properly registered as volunteers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and were not in violation of Russian rules regarding migration registration when they were detained in August 2016.

“It’s a win for the church in Russia because it shows that we were treated unconstitutionally, and if the church wants, it can seek to overturn our criminal records, too,” Oldham said.

Both Oldham and Worden have completed their volunteer service. Both are engaged to be married and plan to attend college in the fall.

News of the ruling came down exactly one year to the day after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new law that limited missionary work. The law requires any proselyting to happen within houses of worship. Missionary work conducted on the street or in residences can be punished with deportation and fines up to $780 per missionary and $15,500 per church.
After the law went into effect, the LDS Church redesignated all its missionaries in Russia as volunteers and instructed them to obey the law.

Read the rest of the story at Deseret News


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