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LDS-Japan update: Missionaries moved, assistance provided

SALT LAKE CITY — The LDS Church reports missionaries in its Japan Sendai and Japan Tokyo missions have been relocated elsewhere in the country and far from areas affected by the recent earthquake and tsunami and ongoing risks associated with damaged nuclear reactors.

Leaders and representatives from LDS headquarters in Salt Lake City are working with government and humanitarian organizations to provide assistance, while local leaders in Japan are handling the needs of Latter-day Saints there.

The Presiding Bishopric of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released this statement Thursday:

"We have begun providing direct assistance and are actively assessing ways that we can further support the Japanese people and their government during this crisis. The scope of our response may change as additional information becomes available over the coming weeks and months."

While expressing appreciation for those expressing a desire to help, church leaders say the high volume of calls and emails to the Asia North Area offices in Japan to offer additional assistance are hindering their ability to respond to the crisis.

Acknowledging the inquires of how individuals might assist or make donations to the LDS Church, they also direct members and others who wish to donate to do so through the church's humanitarian fund.