SALT LAKE CITY — The LDS Church is sending some missionaries home early from Ukraine because of unrest in the Crimean Peninsula.

"Given the evolving situation in Ukraine, 22 missionaries serving in that country will end their missions early and return home over the next few days," said a statement released on LDS.org late Thursday.

The missionaries involved were due to end their missions in March or April.

On Saturday, the church announced it had removed 23 missionaries in the Ukraine Dnepropetrovsk Mission from the Crimean Peninsula. Those missionaries are being spread among the four missions of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the country.

Also, "missionaries who have been in missionary training centers preparing to enter Ukraine are being temporarily reassigned to other missions or will remain at the MTCs on a short-term basis," the new statement says

The church has more than 11,000 members in Ukraine.

Thursday night's release included a short statement about missionaries serving in Venezuela:

"All missionaries serving in Venezuela are safe. Church leaders are in regular contact with mission presidents serving throughout Venezuela, and are closely monitoring the situation to ensure their safety and well-being."

The church has four missions and nearly 158,000 members in Venezuela.

Email: twalch@deseretnews.com