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Mormon missionaries leaving Venezuela amid unrest

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March 18, 2014 10:21 AM EST | AP


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Officials with the Mormon church say they're transferring 152 missionaries out of Venezuela because of unrest in the country.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement late Monday saying missionaries who aren't Venezuelan citizens will be moved to other locations in South America.

Officials say Venezuelan missionaries are in frequent communication with their supervisors, and the church is making "every effort" to keep them safe.

Venezuelan government forces and protesters have faced off for the past month in demonstrations that have at times turned deadly.