All Mormon missionaries leaving Nicaragua as violence escalates

(Salt Lake Tribune file photo) The supermoon rises as it simultaneously is eclipsed over the LDS Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah. Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015.

The LDS Church is pulling all of its missionaries out of Nicaragua.

Two weeks ago, the Utah-based faith transferred 169 of its full-time proselytizers from the Central American nation due to rising political instability.

On Monday, it announced the remaining 158 missionaries will be shipped out, too, because of the “escalating violence and deteriorating conditions.”

They are being sent, church spokesman Daniel Woodruff said in a news release, to “temporary assignments in North America, South America, the Caribbean and New Zealand.”

Most already have left, he said. The rest are awaiting travel in a safe location.

Among those evacuated were the president of the Nicaragua Managua South Mission and his family, including young children. They have returned home.

The Nicaragua Managua North Mission president and his wife will stay put for now, the spokesman said, “to take care of some ecclesiastical responsibilities over local church members.”

Officials with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “will continue to monitor developments in Nicaragua,” Woodruff said, “and make a decision in the future regarding the eventual return of missionaries.”

It is unclear whether the political unrest and exit of missionaries will affect recently announced plans to build an LDS temple in Managua, the faith’s first in Nicaragua.