Mormon church evacuates missionaries from Fiji

Posted: Friday, July 28, 2000

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Mormon church has pulled missionaries out of Fiji due to continuing unrest there, church officials announced.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has nearly 200 missionaries on Fiji, which has experienced increasing ethnic division and political strife.

Foreign missionaries were sent to New Zealand, and those with Fijian citizenship will remain and continue their work ''in areas of the island unaffected by recent disturbances,'' church spokesman Randy Ripplinger said.

The Mormon church has 58,600 missionaries around the world. Most are young men, who serve for two years, and young women, who serve for 18 months. Couples also serve field missions for six to 30 months.

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