LDS Missionaries in Russia

Well, not anymore…

Nathan Kowsky, Reporter

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has a prominent community of missionaries who go on international religious assignments. This year, two American Mormons travelled to Russia to preach their religion.

Russia, however, made a public court decision to deport these two missionaries, after they supposedly found them teaching English to Russian children. According to Russian authorities, the two missionaries were in Russia on a work visa only to preach, and teaching English was therefore not allowed by their visa, says

As of March 7th, 2019 Russia had four American citizens in custody, including the missionaries, an alleged spy, and a supposed criminal. The Church was in contact with Russia’s government to get the missionaries back to the United States. The missionaries were detained without deportation for nearly three weeks, recorded by (Salt Lake Tribute).

One of the missionaries is actually a Bothell High School alumnus, David Gaag, who graduated in 2018. He only just publicized his name, choosing to stay anonymous. The other missionary by the name Kole Brodowski had spoken on behalf of both himself and his fellow missionary according to

According to their legal team, they were being held in a dormitory style room, with good conditions. To clarify, it is not prison, says The missionaries were safely returned to the United States on March 20, after nearly three weeks in custody.

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