Mormon Missionary Safety
The Mormon Church supports a large missionary effort. There are over 50,000 missionaries in 343 missions throughout 162 countries at any given time. Usually a Mormon missionary is a young man or woman between the ages of 19 and 23. Others are older couples. So what does the Mormon Church do to keep all of these missionaries safe throughout the world? For the most part, the leaders of the Church give missionaries guidelines to follow and use a hierarchical system to keep safety a priority.
Before a missionary enters the mission field, he goes to one of the 16 Missionary Training Centers (MTC). While in the MTC a missionary is taught personal safety and health practices. Some of these things include staying in pairs, bicycle and automobile safety training, and safety when walking. They are told to only carry a few items with them and money for the needs of that day. Missionaries are also taught that if thieves stop them they should not resist and just give what they have.
Missionaries are watched over by mission presidents and their assistants. These leaders constantly have meetings with consultants and discuss the safety of areas in their mission, and if needed missionaries are moved to new homes or told to avoid certain areas. Apartments are also often inspected for cleanliness and safety.
For health oversight, all missionaries are required to be insured. The Church also has 80 full time physicians throughout the world who work specifically with the missionaries, and 200 volunteer nurses.
Despite all of these safety precautions, accidents and tragedies still happen. Occasionally Mormon missionaries are targeted for violence, and at other times they simply are in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, Church leaders emphasize the fact that Mormon missionaries are often safer in the mission field than at home and encourage members by letting them know that the Church protects its missionaries in the best way possible.