Ryan Andersen, ICLRS Student Fellow

BYU Law student, Ryan Andersen, became interested in freedom of religion while serving in a Russian-speaking mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He noticed the Church was spending a time and money to comply with government requirements, yet was still restricted. During summer 2014 he had the opportunity to work for the Church’s General Counsel for the Europe East Area. He worked on a variety of projects relating to Church operations in Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan. “This internship felt like a way I could make an important contribution in a place that matters to me,” he said. Due to the civil law system in Russia, Andersen was able to learn about a system different than his own. He was, however, able to apply some of his knowledge and experience from his property and contracts classes as he worked with Russian contracts and leases. According to Andersen, his time in Russia was extremely valuable and will help set him apart from other job applicants. He was most pleased with the opportunity to help the Church in this region.