Monday, May 5, 2008

The Church in Spain and Portugal

Some of the strongest growth the Church has experienced in Europe in the past 10 years has been in Spain. In 2000, Spain had 31,695 members in seven stakes and 40 wards. There were a total of 124 branches as well and 16 districts. In 2006 Spain had 41,188 members, the most out of any country in Europe except the United Kingdom. Today there are 66 wards, 55 branches, nine stakes, and nine districts. The stakes in Madrid have growth fairly large (around 18 wards and six branches in two stakes) as well as the Elche Stake (10 wards and four branches). New stakes are likely to be organized in these two regions of the country. The northern portion of the country still does not have a single stake in it, but rather five districts. Up until a year or two ago there were three districts in the Canary Islands but these have all been consolidated into one (perhaps to create a stake in the near future, but growth rates have been relatively stagnant here). The temple in Madrid was dedicated nine years ago.

Portugal is an interesting story. Growth was very strong in the late 80's, but has slowed significantly in the 90's. Membership increased from only 35,146 in 2000 to 38,130 in 2006. Yet Portugal has the highest percentage of members out of any country in Europe (0.36%). There are six stakes in the country with 35 wards as well as four districts (two are on islands). Portugal is the country with the second largest membership with no temple after Nicaragua. I imagine a temple will be built someday in Lisbon to serve the Cape Verde Islands as well. Portugal is probably the European country with the highest inactivity.

The yellow squares represent wards and the green squares represent branches

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