church

The exterior of the temple at Draper, Utah in 2008.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Mormon church has announced plans to build seven new temples, including one in Virginia and one in Russia where Mormon missionaries are banned from publicly proselytizing.

Church President Russell Nelson announced Sunday that the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will build its first temple in Russia in a city to be determined.

Nelson also announced plans for temples in Argentina, India, Nicaragua, the Philippines and Layton, Utah.

The Richmond temple will be a first for Virginia. No site has been chosen yet. Nearly 100,000 Mormons live in the state. A spokeswomen declined to comment on the church’s plans for its planned Virginia temple. Richmond and Hanover officials said they had not been in communication with the church about its plans. Henrico and Chesterfield have not yet responded to a Times-Dispatch inquiry.

Temples differ from the chapels where Mormons go for weekly worship services on Sundays, according to the church’s website. “Temples are closed on Sundays, and only Mormons living the highest standards of the faith can enter a temple after its dedication,” the website reads. Regular Sunday services at chapels are open to the public; temples are not.

“Only church members in good standing may enter (temples),” the church’s website reads.

The church has had fewer missionaries in Russia who now refrain from proselytizing publicly after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an anti-terrorism law in 2016 that restricts religious work.

The church operates nearly 160 temples worldwide.

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