Visa issues force some missionaries to leave Mongolia

Due to recent changes in Mongolia's visa laws, some Mormon missionaries from the United States who were called to that Asian country and 10 others already serving there have been reassigned, at least temporarily.

Effective next week, the LDS Church still will have 26 full-time foreign missionaries serving in Mongolia, LDS spokesman Scott Trotter said Wednesday. "No new foreign missionaries have entered Mongolia since the new laws took effect about eight months ago."

Mongolian visas now are governed by a quota system based on the type of organization and the number of its local employees. The LDS Church is limited by the fact that it has no paid clergy and few employees in the country.

Still, the mission remains well staffed, Trotter said, by at least 110 missionaries who are Mongolian nationals and can freely proselytize without visas. There also are Mongolian members serving full-time missions in the United States, Australia, Japan, Korea, the Czech Republic and New Zealand.

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