AP PHOTOS: Polygamous group’s control over small town wanes

November 3, 2017

In this Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017 photo, Lydia Ann, 8, and her mother, Norma Richter, hold hands as they pose for photographs in Colorado City, Ariz. Their community on the Utah-Arizona border has been home for more than a century to members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a polygamous sect that is an offshoot of mainstream Mormonism. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

HILDALE, Utah (AP) — Members of a polygamous group that is losing its grip on a remote red rock community straddling the Utah-Arizona border that’s been its home for more than a century say they love their religion and won’t cower no matter what happens.

Government-ordered evictions have forced hundreds of them from their houses in Hildale, home to the Mormon offshoot religion called the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Other government crackdowns have led to a leadership void that’s created uncertainty.

Elections on Tuesday could deal a crushing blow if voters choose candidates for mayor and two city council seats who don’t belong to the FLDS.

Ex-FLDS members consider the changes progress. But group members believe the town they built is being destroyed amid cultural cleansing.

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