"Missionaries are divinely watched over in the work they perform. However, we believe it’s important to understand their circumstances and make appropriate adjustments when needed," a Church statement released Monday says.
Recently, the Church sent a survey to the 70,946 missionaries serving in 422 missions around the world to better understand the dangers missionaries might experience while serving. "This survey is to help us better understand the day-to-day experiences and perceptions of missionaries around the world related to physical safety," the statement says. "It is being sent to each of our young missionaries around the world. We want to understand the risks to safety our missionaries experience or perceive."
This is a proactive measure by the Missionary Department to evaluate what changes and improvements can be made to increase missionary safety regarding physical, mental, and emotional threats to health.
"The data from this survey will help us identify areas or circumstances where missionary safety may be at the greatest risk. We intend to use the results to review and modify, as needed, missionary safety guidelines and instructions," the statement explains.
In this confidential survey, missionaries will answer "detailed and specific" questions where they have served and what physical threats, assaults, thefts, traffic accidents, sexual assaults or harassments, and other potential dangers they have experienced. In addition, the survey asks about the missionaries' residential areas and the locks or safety measures in place to protect the missionaries.
"The safety of missionaries is of great importance to the Church. Missionaries are taught principles to keep themselves safe, and in areas where missionary safety may be at risk, we may alter assignments or provide them with more specific guidelines to enhance their safety," the release says.