“Church Denies Sandinista Charges in Nicaragua,” Ensign, Oct. 1982, 79
In a firm statement issued Thursday, August 12, Church officials in Salt Lake City refuted charges by the Sandinista government of Nicaragua that Church missionaries are involved in CIA-directed plots against its government.
The statement was made after the Sandinistas had confiscated three LDS chapels and approximately seventeen other places of worship belonging to Seventh-Day Adventists, Baptists, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Nicaraguan officials said the property was seized because of the churches’ involvement in CIA-directed plans to undermine its government.
“Our missionaries are sent into the world solely to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Church officials said. “They are closely supervised, and missionaries are instructed always to function in pairs.
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints makes it emphatically clear as a matter of policy, training, and practice that no missionary is to be involved in CIA activities, in political activities, or in subversive activities of any nature in the countries where they serve,” officials continued.
“For more than a century, we have followed the statement of one of our Articles of Faith, which says:
“‘We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law,’” [A of F 1:12] Church officials explained.
Several years ago, during the civil war that saw the Sandinista government rise to power, all LDS American missionaries were withdrawn from Nicaragua. Earlier this year, several Protestants, including a number of Americans, were expelled by the government on the accusation that they were involved with the CIA in efforts to overthrow the Sandinistas, who have ruled Nicaragua since the civil war of 1979.