Friday, April 24, 2009

Districts Combine In Preparation For Sicily's First Stake

Missionaries report that last Sunday the Palermo Italy and Catania Italy Districts were combined in preparation for the first stake on the island. Both of these districts were first organized in the 1970s and today the district on the island has 12 branches. Currently there are six stakes and six districts in Italy and missionaries hint that the formation of the future stake on Sicily is part of preparing the country for the construction and the dedication of the temple in Rome. The district in Florence appears to be close to stakehood as well.

Other stakes created recently in Italy were in Alessandria (2007), Rome (2005) and Verona (2008). The new stakes in Italy have not come as a result of recent membership growth but rather the result of maturing membership and consolidating branches to create wards and consolidating districts to create stakes. For instance back in 2000 there were 15 districts and three stakes in Italy. Church membership grew by a little over 1% last year to 22,886 members.

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