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The Mormon church has moved four missionaries out of an area in Mexico after police briefly detained them for trying to baptize three boys without their parents' approval.

Teaching or baptizing minors without the consent of parents or guardians is against a longtime policy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"Unfortunately, these missionaries acted outside of church policy," Eric Hawkins, an LDS Church spokesman, said Monday. "They have been corrected and moved out of the area."

The four missionaries, all from other states in Mexico, had planned to baptize three brothers — a 9-year-old and two 11-year-olds — without parental permission Thursday night, AnĂ¡huac police said this weekend.

Their father told police the missionaries promised the brothers food to persuade them to go to a church, where they asked the boys to change into baptismal clothing. The three became afraid, left the area and told their parents what had happened, police said.

Their father was upset and contacted police, who took the missionaries into custody. The four men were released hours later because they had committed no crime, police said.

Nick Parker